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JOHNS HOPKINS rarasiiY SHIES
HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
HERBERT B. ADAMS, Editor
History Is past Politics and Politics present History. Freeman
THE NINETEENTH OF APRIL, 1861
A Study of the War
BY GEORGE WILLIAM BROWN
Chief Judge of (to Supreme. Bench of Baltimore and Mayor tftMCtiyin mi
N. MUEEAY, PUBLICATION AGEffT, JOHKS HOPKINS UNITOESITY
COPYRIGHT, 1887, BY N, MUBBAY,
ISAAC FBIEDENWALD, PEINTEK,
1. INTRODUCTION, 9
2. THE FIRST BLOOD SHED IN THE WAR, 10
3. THE SUPPOSED PLOT TO ASSASSINATE THE INCOMING PRESIDENT, . 11
4. THE MIDNIGHT BIDE TO WASHINGTON, ...... 17
1. THE COMPROMISES OF THE CONSTITUTION IN REGARD TO SLAVERY, . 20
2. A DIVIDED HOUSE, 23
3. THE BROKEN COMPACT, 25
4. THE RIGHT OP REVOLUTION, 27
1. MARYLAND'S DESIRE FOR PEACE, 30
2. EVENTS WHICH FOLLOWED THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN, f 31
3. His PROCLAMATION CALLING FOR TROOPJS, 32
4. THE CITY AUTHORITIES AND POLICE OF BALTIMORE, ... 34
5. INCREASING EXCITEMENT IN BALTIMORE, 39
1. THE SIXTH MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT IN BALTIMORE, ... 42
2. THE FIGHT 47
3. THE DEPARTURE FOR WASHINGTON, 52
4. CORRESPONDENCE IN REGARD TO THE KILLED AND WOUNDED, . 54
5. PUBLIC MEETING, 56
0. TELEGRAM TO THE PRESIDENT, j 57
7. No REPLY, 58
8. BURNING* OF BRIDGES, 59
1. APRIL 20TH INCREASING EXCITEMENT, 60
3. APPROPRIATION OF $500,000 FOR DEFENSE OF THE CITY, . . 60
3. CORRESPONDENCE WITH PRESIDENT AND GOVERNOR, ... 61
4. MEN ENROLLED, 63
5. APPREHENDED ATTACK ON FORT MCHENRY, .... 66
6. MARSHAL KANE 69
7. INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT, CABINET, AND GENERAL SCOTT, . 71
8. GENERAL BUTLER, WITH THE EIGHTH MASSACHUSETTS, PROCEEDS
TO ANNAPOLIS AND WASHINGTON, 76
9. BALTIMORE IN A STATE OF ARMED NEUTRALITY, .... 77
1. SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 79
2. REPORT OF THE BOARD OF POLICE, 80
8. SUPPRESSION OF THE FLAGS 82
4. ON THE STH OF MAY GENERAL BUTLER TAKES POSITION Six MILES
FROM BALTIMORE, 83
5* ON THE 13TH OF MAY HE ENTERS BALTIMORE AND FORTIFIES FED- 84
KRAL HILL 85
6. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL TAKE NO STEPS TOWARD SECESSION, 85
7, MANY YOUNG MEN JOIN THE ARMY OF THE CONFEDERACY, . . 85
1. CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY AND THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, , . 87
2. A UNION CONVENTION, 92
3. CONSEQUENCE OF THE SUSPENSION OF THE WRIT, .... 93
4. INCIDENTS OF THE WAR, 95
5. THE WOMEN IN THE WAR, 95
1. GENERAL BANKS IN COMMAND, 97
2. MARSHAL KANE ARRESTED, 97
3. POLIOK COMMISSIONERS SUPERSEDED, 97
4. RESOLUTIONS PASSED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ... 98
5. POLICE COMMISSIONERS ARRESTED, ,*..., 98
6. RESOLUTIONS PASSED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, . . . 100
7. GENERAL Drs IN COMMAND, 100
8. ARREST OP THE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THE MAYOR,
AND OTHERS, . 102
9. RELEASE OF PRISONERS, 108
10. COLONEL DIMICK, Ill
CHAPTER IX A PERSONAL CHAPTER. . . 113
ACCOUNT OF THE ALLEGED CONSPIRACY TO ASSASSINATE ABRAHAM LIN-
COLN ON His JOURNEY TO BALTIMORE, FROM THE " LIFE OF ABRA-
HAM LINCOLN," BY WARD H. LAMON, PP. 511-526, . . .120
EXTRACT FROM THE OPINION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES, DELIVERED BY CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY, IN THE CASE OF
DRED SCOTT vs. SANFORD (19 How. 407), 138
THE HABEAS CORPUS CASE. OPINION OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE
UNITED STATES (Ex Parte JOHN MERRYMAN), .... 139
MESSAGE OF THE 12TH OF JULY, 1861, TO THE FIRST AND SECOND
BRANCHES OF THE CITY COUNCIL, REFERRING TO THE EVENTS OF
THE 19TH OF APRIL AND THOSE WHICH FOLLOWED. THE FlRST
PARAGRAPH AND THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPHS OF THIS DOCUMENT, 157
As A PART OF THE HISTORY OF THE TIMES, REPRODUCTION FROM THE
BALTIMORE " AMERICAN " OF DECEMBER 5, 1860, OF THE RECEP-
TION OF THE PUTNAM PHALANX, OF HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT, IN
THE CITY OF BALTIMORE, 160
VISIT OF A PORTION OP THE MEMBERS OP THE SIXTH MASSACHUSETTS
REGIMENT TO BALTIMORE ON THE 19ra OF APRIL, 1880, AND AN
ACCOUNT OF ITS RECEPTION, FROM THE BALTIMORE "Sim" AND
THE BALTIMORE "AMERICAN," 167
BALTIMORE AND THE
OF APRIL, 1861,
A STUDY OF THE WAR,
INTRODUCTION. THE FIRST BX.OOD SHED IN THE WAR. THE
SUPPOSED PLOT TO ASSASSINATE THE INCOMING PRESI-
DENT. THE MIDNIGHT RIDE TO WASHINGTON.
I have offcen been solicited by persons of widely opposite
political opinions to write an account of the events which
occurred in Baltimore on the 19th of April, 1861, about
which much that is exaggerated and sensational has been
circulated; but, for different reasons, I have delayed com-
plying with the request until this time.
These events were not isolated facts, but were the natural
result of causes which had roots deep in the past, and they
were followed by serious and important consequences. The
narrative, to be complete, must give some account of both
cause and consequence, and to do this briefly and with a
proper regard to historical proportion is no easy task.
Moreover, it is not pleasant to disturb the ashes of a great
conflagration, which, although they have grown cold on the
surface, cover embers still capable of emitting both smoke
and heat ; and especially is it not pleasant when the disturber
10 Baltimore and the IWi of April, 1861.
of the ashes was himself an actor in the scenes which he is
asked to describe.
But more than twenty-five years have passed, and with
them have passed away most of the generation then living ;
and, as one of the rapidly diminishing survivors, I am admon-
ished by the lengthening shadows that anything I may have
to say should be said speedily. The nation has learned many
lessons of wisdom fi'om its civil war, and not the least
among them is that every truthful contribution to its annals
or to its teachings is not without some value.
I have accordingly undertaken the task, but not without
reluctance, because it necessarily revives recollections of
the most trying and painful experiences of my life experi-
ences which for a long time I have not unwillingly permitted
to fade in the dim distance.
There was another 19th of April that of Lexington in
1775 which has become memorable in history for a battle
between the Minute Men of Massachusetts and a column of
British troops, in which the first blood was shed in the war
of the Revolution. It was the heroic beginning of that
The fight which occurred in the streets of Baltimore on the
19th of April, 1861, between the 6th Regiment of Massa-
chusetts Volunteers*and a mob of citizens, was also memo-
rable, because then was shed the first blood in a conflict
between the North and the South; then a step was taken
which made compromise or retreat almost impossible; then
passions on both sides were aroused which could not be con-
trolled. 1 In each case the outbreak was an explosion of
3 At Fort Sumter, it is true, one week earlier, the first collision of arms
had taken place ; but strangely, that bombardment was unattended with
loss of life. And it did not necessarily mean 'war between North and
The Supposed Plot. 11
conflicting forces long suppressed, but certain, sooner or later,
to occur. Here the coincidence ends. The Minute Men of
Massachusetts were so called because they were prepared to
rise on a minute's notice. They had anticipated and had
prepared for the strife. The attack by the mob in Baltimore
was a sudden uprising of popular fury. The events themselves
were magnified as the tidings flashed over the whole country,
and the consequences were immediate. The North became
wild with astonishment and rage, and the S'outh rose to fever-
heat from the conviction that Maryland was about to fall into
line as the advance guard of the Southern Confederacy.
In February, 1861, when Mr. Lincoln was on his way to
Washington to prepare for his inauguration as President of
the United States, an unfortunate incident occurred which had
a sinister influence on the State of Maryland, and especially
on the city of Baltimore. Some superserviceable persons,
carried away, honestly no doubt, by their own frightened
imaginations, and perhaps in part stimulated by the tempta-
tion of. getting up a sensation of the first class, succeeded in
persuading Mr. Lincoln that a formidable conspiracy existed
to assassinate him on his way through Maryland.
It was announced publicly that he was to come from Phila-
delphia, not by the usual route through Wilmington, but by
a circuitous journey through Harrisburg, and thence by the
Northern Central Railroad to Baltimore. Misled by this
statement, I, as Mayor of the city, accompanied by the JPolice
Commissioners and supported by a strong force of police, was
at the Calvert-street station on Saturday morning, February
23d, at half-past eleven o'clock, the appointed time of arrival,
ready to receive with due respect the incoming President. An
12 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
open carriage was in "waiting, in which I was to have the honor
of escorting Mr. Lincoln through the city to the Washington
station, and of sharing in any danger which he might
encounter. It is hardly necessary to say that I apprehended
none. "When the train came it appeared, to my great aston-
ishment, that Mrs. Lincoln and her three sons had arrived
safely and without hindrance or molestation of any kind, but
that Mr. Lincoln could not be found. It was then announced
that he had passed through the city incognito in the night
train by the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Rail-
road, and had reached Washington in safety at the usual
hour in the morning. For this signal deliverance from an
imaginary peril, those who devised the ingenious plan of
escape were of course devoutly thankful, and they accordingly
took to themselves no little amount of credit for its success.
If Mr. Lincoln had arrived in Baltimore at the time
expected, and had spoken a few words to the people who had
gathered to hear him, expressing the kind feelings which
were in his heart with the simple eloquence of which he was
so great a master, he could not have failed to make a very
different impression from that which was produced not only^
by the want of confidence and respect manifested towards the^
city of Baltimore by the plan pursued, but still more by the
mmner iii which it was carried out. On such an occasion
as this <even trifles are of importance, and this incident was
not a trifle. The emotional part of human nature is its
strongest side and soonest leads to action. It was so with the
people of Baltimore. Fearful accounts of the conspiracy
flew all <yvser the country, creating a hostile feeling against
the city, from which it soon afterwards suffered. A single
specimen of the news thus spread will suffice. A dispatch
to the New York Tm& 9
The Supposed Plot 13
dated February 23d, 8 A. M., says : "Abraham Lincoln, the
President-elect of the United States, is safe in the capital of
the nation." Then, after describing the dreadful nature of
the conspiracy, it adds : " The list of the names of the con-
spirators presented a most astonishing array of persons high
in Southern confidence, and some whose fame is not confined
to this country alone."
Of course, the list of names was never furnished, and all
the men in buckram vanished in air. This is all the notice
which this matter would require except for the extraordinary
narrative contributed by Mr. Samuel M. Felton, at that time
President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore
Railroad Company, to the volume entitled "A History of
Massachusetts in the Civil War," published in 1868.
Early in 1861, Mr. Felton had made, as he supposed, a
remarkable discovery of " a deep-laid conspiracy to capture
"Washington and break up the Government."
Soon afterwards Miss Dix, the philanthropist, opportunely
came to his office on a Saturday afternoon, stating that she
had an important communication to make to him personally,
and then, with closed doors and for more than an hour, she
poured into his ears a thrilling tale, to which he attentively
listened. " The sum of all was (I quote the language of Mr.
Felton) that there was then an extensive and organized
conspiracy throughout the South to seize upon Washington,
with its archives and records, and then declare the Southern
conspirators de facto the Government of the United States.
The whole was to be a cowp d'&at. At the same time they
were to cut off all modes of communication between Wash-
ington and the North, East or West, and thus prevent the
transportation of troops to wrest the capital from the hands
of the insurgents* Mr. Lincoln's inauguration was thus to
14 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
be prevented, or his life was to fall a sacrifice to the attempt
at inauguration. In fact, troops were then drilling on the
line of our own road, and the "Washington and Annapolis
line and other lines."
It was clear that the knowledge of a treasonable conspiracy
of such vast proportions, which had already begun its opera-
tions, ought not to be confined solely to the keeping of Mr,
Felton and Miss Dix. Mr. N". P. Trist, an officer of the
road, was accordingly admitted into the secret, and was
dispatched in haste to Washington, to lay all the facts before
General Scott, the Commander-in-Chief. The General, how-
ever, would give no assurances except that he would do all
he could to bring sufficient troops to Washington to make it
secure. Matters stood in this unsatisfactory condition fox*
some time, until a new rumor reached the ears of Mr. Felton.
A gentleman from Baltimore, he says, came out to Back
River Bridge, about five miles east of the city, and told the
bridgekeeper that he had information which had come to his
knowledge, of vital importance to the road, which he wished
communicated to Mr. Felton. The nature of this communi-
cation was that a party was then organized in Baltimore to
burn the bridges in case Mr. Lincoln came over the road, or
iu case an attempt was made to carry troops for the defense
of Washington. The party at tibat time had combustible
materials prepared to pour over the bridges, and were to dis-
guise themselves as negroes and be at the bridge just before
the train in which Mr. Lincoln travelled had arrived. The
bridge was then to be burned, the train attacked, and Mr.
Lincoln to be put out of the way. The man appeared several
times, always, it seems, to the bridgekeeper, and he always
communicated new information about the conspirators, but
he would never give his name nor place of abode, and both
The Supposed Plot. 15
still remain a mystery. Mr. Felton himself then went to
Washington, where he succeeded in obtaining from a promi-
nent gentleman from Baltimore whom he there saw, the judi*
cious advice to apply to Marshal Kane, the Chief of Police in
Baltimore, with the assurance that he was a perfectly reliable
person. Marshal Kane was accordingly seen, but he scouted
the idea that there was any such thing on foot as a conspiracy
to burn the bridges and cut off Washington, and said he
had thoroughly investigated the whole matter, and there was
not the slightest foundation for such rumors. Mr. Felton
was not satisfied, but he would have nothing more to do with
Marshal Kane. He next sent for a celebrated detective in
the West, whose name is not given, and through this chief
and his subordinates every nook and corner of the road and
its vicinity was explored. They reported that they had
joined the societies of the conspirators in Baltimore and got
into their secrets, and that the secret working of secession
and treason was laid bare, with all its midnight plottings and
daily consultations. The conspiracy being thus proved to
Mr. Felton's satisfaction, he at once organized and armed a
force of two hundred men and scattered them along the line
of the railroad between the Susquehanna and Baltimore, prin-
cipally at the bridges. But, strange to say, all that was
accomplished by this formidable body was an enormous job
The narrative proceeds : " These men were drilled' secretly
and regularly by drill-masters, and were apparently employed
in whitewashing the bridges, putting on some six or seven
coats of whitewash saturated with salt and alum, to make the
outside of the bridges as nearly fireproof as possible. This
whitewashing, so extensive in its application, became (con-
tinues Mr. Felton) the nine days' wonder of the neighbor-
16 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
hood." And well it might. After the lapse of twenty-five
years the wonder over this feat of strategy can hardly yet
have ceased in that rural and peaceful neighborhood. But,
unfortunately for Mr. Felton ? s peace of mind, the programme
of Mr. Lincoln's journey was suddenly changed. He had
selected a different route. He had decided to go to Harris-
burg from Philadelphia, and thence by day to Baltimore,
over another and a rival road, known as the Northern Cen-
tral. Then the chief detective discovered that the attention
of the conspirators was suddenly turned to the Northern
Central road. The mysterious unknown gentleman from Bal-
timore appeared again on the scene and confirmed this state-
ment. He gave warning that Mr. Lincoln was to be way-
laid and his life sacrificed on that road, on which no white-
wash had been used, and where there were no armed men to
Mr. Felton hurried to Philadelphia, and there, in a hotel,
joined his chief detective, who was registered under a feigned
name. Mr, Lincoln, cheered by a dense crowd, was, at that
moment, passing through the streets of Philadelphia, A
sub-detective was Sent to brinjj Mr. Judd, Mr. Lincoln's
intimate friend, to the hotel to hold a consultation. Mr,
Judd was in the procession with Mr. Lincoln, but the emer-
gency admitted no delay. The eagerness of the sub-detective
was so great that he was three times arrested and carried out
of the crowd by the police before he could reach Mr. Judd,
The fourth attempt succeeded, and Mr. Judd was at last
brought to the hotel, where he met .both Mr. Felton and the
chief detective. The narrative then proceeds in the words of
Mr. Felton : " We lost no time in making known to him
(Mr. Judd) all the facts which had come to our knowledge
in reference to the conspiracy, and I most earnestly advised
The Midnight Ride to Washington. 17
sleeping-car. Mr. Judd fully entered into the plan, and said
he would urge Mr. Lincoln to adopt it. On his communi-
cating with Mr. Lincoln, after the services of the evening
were over, he answered that he had engaged to go to Harris-
burg and speak the next day, and that he would not break
his engagement, even in the face of such peril, but that after
he had fulfilled his engagement he would follow such advice
as we might give him in reference to his journey to "Washing-
ton." Mr. Lincoln accordingly went to Harrisburg the next
day and made an address. After that the arrangements for
the journey were shrouded in the profoundest mystery. It
was given out that he was to go to Governor Curtin's house
for the night, but he was, instead, conducted to a point about
two miles out of Harrisburg, where an extra car and enginfe
waited to take him to Philadelphia. The telegraph lines east,
west, north and south from Harrisburg were cut, so that no
message as to his movements could be sent off in any direc-
tion. But all this caused a detention, and the night train
from Philadelphia to Baltimore had to be held back until the
arrival of Mr. Lincoln at the former place. If, however, the
delay proved to be considerable, when Mr. Lincoln reached
Baltimore the connecting train to Washington might leave
without him. But Mr. Felton was equal to the occasion.
He devised a plan which was communicated to only three or
four on the road. A messenger was sent to Baltimore by an
earlier train to say to the officials of the Washington road
that a very important package must be delivered in "Washing-
ton early in the morning, and to request them to wait for the
night train from Philadelphia. To give color to this state-
ment, a package of old railroad reports, done tip with great
care, and with a large seal attached, marked by Mr. Felton's
own hand, " Very Important," was sent in the train which
18 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861.
delphia through Maryland and Baltimore to the city of Wash-
ington. The only remarkable incident of the journey was the
mysterious behavior of the few officials who were entrusted
with the portentous secret.
I do not know how others may be affected by this narra-
tive, but I confess even now to a feeling of indignation that
Mr. Lincoln, who was no coward, but proved himself on
many an occasion to be a brave man, was thus prevented
from carrying out his original intention of journeying to
Baltimore in the light of day, in company with his wife and
children, relying as he always did on the honor and manhood
of the American people. It is true we have, to our sorrow,
learned by the manner of hie death, as well as by the fate of
still another President, that no one occupying so high* a place
can be absolutely safe, even in this country, from the danger
of assassination, but it is still true that as a rule the best
way to meet such danger is boldly to defy it.
Mr. C. C. Felton, son of Mr. Samuel M. Felton, in an
article entitled " The Baltimore Plot," published in Decem-
ber, 1885, in the Harvard Monthly, has attempted to revive
this absurd story. He repeats the account of whitewashing
the bridges, and of the astonishment created among the good
people of the neighborhood. He has faith in " the unknown
Baltimorean " who visited the bridgekeeper, but would
never give his name, and in the spies employed, who, he tells
us, were "the well-known detective Pinker ton and eight
assistants," and he leaves his readers to infer that Mr.
Lincoln's life was saved by the extraordinary vigilance
which had been exercised and the ingenious plan which had
been devised by his worthy father, but alas!
" The earth fcafch bubbles as the water has,"
and this was of them.
The Midnight Ride to Washington. 19
Colonel Lamon, a close friend of President Lincoln, and the
only person who accompanied him on his night ride to Wash-
ington, has written his biography, a very careful and con-
scientious work, which unfortunately was left unfinished, and
he of course had the strongest reasons for carefully exam-
ining the subject. After a full examination of all the docu-
ments, Colonel Lamon pronounces the conspiracy to be a mere
fiction, and adds in confirmation the mature opinion of Mr.
Colonel Lamon says : l " Mr. Lincoln soon learned to
regret the midnight ride. His friends reproached him, his
enemies taunted him. He was convinced that he had com-
mitted a grave mistake in yielding to the solicitations of a
professional spy and of friends too easily alarmed. He saw
that he had fled from a danger purely imaginary, and felt the
shame and mortification natural to a brave man under such
circumstances. But he was not disposed to take all the
responsibility to himself, and frequently upbraided the
writer for having aided and assisted him to demean himself
at the very moment in all his life when his behavior should
have exhibited the utmost dignity and composure."
As Colonel Lamon's biography, a work of absorbing
interest, is now out of print, and as his account of the ride
and of the results of the investigation of the conspiracy is too
long to be inserted here, it is added in an Appendix.
The account above given has its appropriateness here, for
the midnight ride through Baltimore, and the charge that its
citizens were plotting the President's assassination, helped to
feed the flame of excitement which, in the stirring events of
that time, was already burning too high all over the land,
and especially iji a border city with divided sympathies.
1 The Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 526 ; and see Appendix L
THE COMPROMISES OF THE CONSTITUTION IN REGARD TO
SLAVERY. A DIVIDED HOUSE. THE BROKEN COMPACT.
THE RIGHT OF REVOLUTION.
For a period the broad provisions of the Constitution of the
United States, as expounded by the wise and broad decisions
of the Supreme Court, had proved to be equal to every emer-
gency. The thirteeii feeble colonies had grown to be a great
Bepublic, and no external obstacle threatened its majestic
progress ; foreign wars had been waged and vast territories
had been annexed, but every strain on the Constitution only
served to make it stronger. Yet there was a canker in a vital
part which nothing could heal, which from day to day became
more malignant, ajid which those who looked beneath the sur-
face could perceive was surely leading, and at no distant day,
to dissolution or war, or perhaps to both. The canker was
the existence of negro slavery.
In colonial days, kings, lords spiritual and temporal, and
commons, all united in favoring the slave trade. In Massa-
chusetts the Puritan minister might be seen on the Sabbath
going to meeting in family procession, with his negro slave
bringing up the rear. Boston was largely engaged in build-
ing ships and manufacturing rum, and a portion of the ships
and much of the rum were sent to Africa, the rum to buy
slaves, and the ships to bring them to a market in America.
Newport was more largely, and until a more recent time,
engaged in the same traffic.
In Maryland, even the Friends were sometimes owners of
Compromises of the Constitution. 21
slaves ; and it is charged, and apparently with reason, that
"Wenlock Christison, the Quaker preacher, after being driven
from Massachusetts by persecution and coming to Maryland
by way of Barbadoes, sent or brought in with him a number
of slaves, who cultivated his plantation until his death. In
Georgia, the Calvinist Whitefield blessed God for his negro
plantation, which was generously given to him to establish
his " Bethesda " as a refuge for orphan children.
In the Dred Scott case, Chief Justice Taney truly described
the opinion, which he deplored, prevailing at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution, as being that the colored man
had no rights which the white man was bound to respect. 1
The Constitution had endeavored to settle the question of
slavery by a compromise. As the difficulty in regard to it
arose far more from political than moral grounds, so in the
settlement the former were almost exclusively considered. It
was, however, the best that could be made at that time. It is
certain that without such a compromise the Constitution would
not have been adopted. The existence of slavery in a State
was left in the discretion of the State itself. If a slave escaped
to another State, he was to be returned to his master. Laws
were passed by Congress to carry out this provision, and the
Supreme Court decided that they were constitutional.
For a long time the best people at the North stood firmly
by the compromise. It was a national compact, and must be
respected. But ideas, and especially moral ideas, cannot be
forever fettered by a compact, no matter how solemn may be
its sanctions. The change of opinion at the North was
first slow, then rapid, and then so powerful as to overwhelm
all opposition. John Brown, who was executed for raising a
1 Judge Taney J s utterance on this subject has been frequently and grossly
misrepresented. In Appendix II. will be found what he really did say.
22 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
negro insurrection in Virginia, in which men were wounded
and killed, was reverenced by many at the North as a hero, a
martyr and a saint. It had long been a fixed fact that no
fugitive slave could by process of law be returned from the
North into slavery. With the advent to power of the Repub-
lican party & party based on opposition to slavery another
breach in the outworks of the Constitution, as interpreted by
the Supreme Court, had been made. Sooner or later the
same hands would capture the citadel. Sooner or later it
was plain that slavery was doomed.
In the memorable Senatorial campaign in Illinois between
Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, the latter, in his
speech before the Republican State Convention at Springfield,
June 17, 1858, struck the keynote of his party by the bold
declaration on the subject of slavery which he then made and
This utterance was the more remarkable because on the
previous day the convention had passed unanimously a res-
olution declaring that Mr. Lincoln was their first and only
choice for United States Senator, to fill the vacancy about to
be created by the expiration of Mr. Douglas's term of office,
but the convention had done nothing which called for the
advanced ground on which Mr. Lincoln planted himself in
that speech. It was carefully prepared.
The narrative of Colonel Lamon in his biography of
Lincoln is intensely -interesting and dramatic. 1
About a dozen gentlemen, he says, were called to meet in
the library of the State House. After seating them at the
round table, Mr. Lincoln read his entire speech, dwelling
slowly on that part which speaks of a divided house, so that
every man fully understood it. * After he had finished, he
1 Lamon 's Life of Lincoln, p. 808,
A Divided House, 23
asked for the opinion of his friends. All but "William H.
Herndon, the law partner of Mr. Lincoln, declared that the
whole speech was too far in advance of the times ; and they
especially condemned that part which referred to a divided
house. Mr. Hcrndon sat still while they were giving their
respective opinions ; then he sprang to his feet and said :
" Lincoln, deliver it just as it reads. If it is in advance of
the times, let us you and I, if no one else lift the people
to the level of this speech now, higher hereafter. The speech
is true, wise and politic, and will succeed now, or in the
future. Nay, it will aid you, if it will not make you Presi-
dent of the United States." ....
" Mr. Lincoln sat still a short moment, rose from his chair,
walked backward arid forward in the hall, stopped and said :
( Friends, I have thought about this matter a great deal,
have weighed the question well from all corners, and am
thoroughly convinced the time has come when it should be
uttered ; and if it must be that I must go down because of
this speech, then let me go down linked to truth die in the
advocacy of what is right and just. This nation cannot live
on injustice. A house divided against itself cannot stand, I
say again and again.' "
The opening paragraph of the speech is as follows : " If
we could first know where we are and whither we are tend-
ing, we could then better jxidge what to do and how to do it.
We are now far on into the fifth year since a policy was
initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of
putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of
that policy that agitation has not only not ceased, but is con-
stantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a
crisis shall have been reached and passed. A house divided
against itself cannot stand. I believe this Government can-
24 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861.
not endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not
expect the Union to be dissolved. I do not expect the house
to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will
become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents
of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it
where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the
course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it
forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old
as well as new, North as well as South."
The blast of the trumpet gave no uncertain sound. The
far-seeing suggestion of Mr. Herndon came true to the letter.
I believe this speech made Abraham Lincoln President of the
But the fpunders of the Constitution of the United States
had built a house which was divided against itself from the
beginning. They had framed a union of States which was
part free and part slave, and that union was intended to last
forever. Here was an irreconcilable conflict between the
Constitution and the future President of the United States.
When the Republican Convention assembled at Chicago in
May, 1860, in the heat of the contest, which soon became
narrowed down to a choice between Mr. Seward and Mr.
Lincoln, the latter dispatched a friend to Chicago with a
message in writing, which was handed either to Judge Davis
or Judge Logan, both members of the convention, which runs
as follows : " Lincoln agrees with Seward in his irrepressible-
conflict idea, and in negro equality; but he is opposed to
Seward's higher law." But there was no substantial dif-
ference between the position of the two : Lincoln's " divided
house" and Seward's u higher law " placed them really in the
The seventh resolution in the Chicago platform condemned
The Broken Compact. 25
what it described as the " new dogma that the Constitution,
of its own force, carries slavery into any or all of the Terri-
tories of the United States." This resolution was a direct
repudiation by a National Convention of the decision of the
Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case.
On the 6th of November, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was
elected President of the United States. Of the actual votes
cast there was a majority against him of 930,170. Next
came Mr. Douglas, who lost the support of the Southern
Democrats by his advocacy of the doctrine of " squatter
sovereignty," as it was called, which was in effect, although
not in form, as hostile to the decision of the Supreme Court
in the Dred Scott case as the seventh resolution of the
Chicago Convention itself. Mr. Breckinridge, of Kentucky,
the candidate of the Southern Democracy, fell very far, and
Mr. Bell, of Tennessee, the candidate of the Union party, as
it was called, a short-lived successor of the old "Whig party,
fell still farther in the rear of the two Northern candidates.
The great crisis had come at last. The Abolition party
had become a portion of the victorious Republican party.
The South, politically, was overwhelmed. Separated now
from its only ally, the Northern Democracy, it stood at last
It matters not that Mr. Lincoln, after his election, in sin-
cerity of heart held out the olive branch to the nation, and
that during his term of office the South, so far as his influ-
ence could avail, would have been comparatively safe fiom
direct aggressions. Mr. Lincoln was not known then as
he is known now, and, moreover, his term of office would be
but four years.
"What course, then, was left to the South if it was determined
to maintain its rights under the Constitution? What but the
right of self-defense?
26 Baltimore and the I3th of April, 1861.
The house of every man is his castle, and he may defend it
to the death against all aggressors. When a hostile hand is
raised to strike a blow, he who is assaulted need not wait
until the blow falls, but on the instant may protect himself
as best he can. These are the rights of self-defense known,
approved and acted on by all freemen. And where constitu-
tional rights of a people are in jeopardy, a kindred right of
self-defense belongs to them. Although revolutionary in its
character, it is not the less a right.
Wendell Phillips, abolitionist as he was, in a speech made
at New Bedford on the 9th of April, 1861, three days before
the bombardment of Fort Sumter, fully recognized this
right. He said : " Here are a series of States girding the
Gulf, who think that their peculiar institutions require that
they should have a separate government. They have a right
to decide that question without appealing to you or me. A
large body of the people, sufficient to make a nation, have
come to the conclusion that they will have a government of
a certain form. Who denies them the right ? Standing with
the principles of '76 behind us, who can deny them the
right ? What is a matter of a few millions of dollars or a
few forts ? It is a mere drop in the bucket of the great
national question. fc It is theirs just as much as ours. I
maintain, on the principles of ; 76, that Abraham Lincoln has
no right to a soldier in Fort Sumter."
And such was the honest belief of the people who united
in establishing the Southern Confederacy.
Wendell Phillips was not wrong in declaring the princi-
ples of '76 to be kindred to those of J 61. The men of ; 76
did not fight to get rid of the petty tax of three pence a pound
on tea, which was the only tax left to quarrel about. They
were determined to pay no taxes, large or small, then or
The Right of Revolution. 27
thereafter. Whether the tax was lawful or not was a
doubtful question, about which there was a wide difference
of opinion, but they did not care for that. Nothing would
satisfy them but the relinquishment of any claim of right to
tax the colonies, and this they could not obtain. They main-
tained that their rights were violated. They were, moreover,
embittered by a long series of disputes with the mother
country, and they wanted to be independent and to have a
country of their own. They thought they were strong
enough to maintain that position.
Neither were the Southern men of ? 61 fighting for money.
And they too were deeply embittered, not against a mother
country, but against a brother country. The Northern
people had published invectives of the most exasperating
character broadcast against the South in their speeches,
sermons, newspapers and books. The abolitionists had pro-
ceeded from words to deeds and were unwearied in tampering
with the slaves and carrying them off. The Southern people,
on their part, were not less violent in denunciation of the
North. The slavery question had divided the political
parties throughout the nation, and on this question the
South was practically a nnit. They could get no security
that the provisions of the Constitution would be kept either
in letter or in spirit, and this they demanded as their right.
The Southern men thought that they also were strong
enough to wage successfully a defensive war. Like the men
of '76, they in great part were of British stock ; they lived in
a thinly settled country, led simple lives, were accustomed to
the use of arms, and knew how to protect themselves. Such
men make good soldiers, and when their armies were enrolled
the ranks Tp ere filled with men of all classes, the rich as well
as the poor, the educated as well as the ignorant;
28 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861,
It is a mistake to suppose that they were inveigled into
secession by ambitious leaders. On the contrary, it is prob-
able that they were not as much under the influence of leaders
as the men of ; 76, and that there were fewer disaffected
among them. At times the scales trembled in the balance.
There are always mistakes in war. It is an easy and un-
grateful task to point them out afterward. We can now
see that grave errors, both financial and military, were
made, and that opportunities were thrown away. How far
these went to settle the contest, we can never certainly know,
but it does not need great boldness to assert that the belief
which the Southern people entertained that they were strong
enough to defend themselves, was not unreasonable.
The determination of the South to maintain slavery was
undoubtedly the main cause of secession, but another deep
and underlying cause was the firm belief of the Southern
.people in the doctrine of States 3 rights, and their jealousy of
any attack upon those rights. Devotion to their State first
of all, a conviction that paramount obligation in case of
any conflict of allegiance was due not to the Union but to
the State, had been part of the political creed of very many
in the South ever since the adoption of the Constitution, An
ignoble love of slavery was not the general and impelling
motive. The slaveholders, who were largely in the minority,
acted as a privileged class always does act. They were de-
termined to maintain their privileges at all hazards. But
they, as well as the great mass of the people who had no
personal interest in slavery, fought the battles of the war
with the passionate earnestness of men who believed with an
undoubting conviction. that they were the defenders not onjy
of home rule and of their firesides, but also of their consti-
The Eight of Revolution. 29
And behind the money question, the constitutional
question and the moral question, there was still another of
the gravest import. "Was it possible for two races nearly
equal in number, but widely different in character and civil-
ization, to live together in a republic in peace and equality
of rights without mingling in blood? The answer of the
Southern man was, " It is not possible."
DESIRE FOB PEACE. EVENTS WHICH FOL-
LOWED THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN. HIS
PROCLAMATION CALLING- FOR TROOPS. THE CITY
AUTHORITIES AND POLICE OF BALTIMORE. INCREASING
EXCITEMENT IN BALTIMORE.
I now come to consider the condition of affairs in Mary-
land. As yet the Republican party had obtained a very slight
foothold. Only 2,294 votes had in the whole State been cast
for Mr. Lincoln. Her sympathies were divided between the
North and the South, with a decided preponderance on the
Southern side. For many years her conscience had been
neither dead nor asleep on the subject of slavery. Families
had impoverished themselves to free their slaves. In 1860
there were 83,942 free colored people in Maryland and 87,189
slaves, the white population being 515,918. Thus there
were nearly as many free as slaves of the colored race.
Emancipation, in spite of harsh laws passed to discounte-
nance it, had rapidly gone on. In the northern part of the
State and in the city of Baltimore there were but few slave-
holders, and the slavery was hardly more than nominal. The
patriarchal institution, as it has been derisively called, had a
real existence in many a household. Not a few excellent
people have I known and respected who were born and bred
in slavery and had been freed by their masters. In 1831 the
State incorporated the Maryland Colonization Society, which
founded on the west coast of Africa a successful republican
colony of colored people, now known as the State of Maryland
Maryland's Desire for Peace. 31
in Liberia, and for twenty-six years, and until the war broke
out, the State contributed $10,000 a year to its support. This
amount was increased by the contributions of individuals.
The board, of which Mr. John H. B. Latrobe was for many
years president, was composed of our best citizens. A code
of laws for the government of the colony was prepared by the
excellent and learned lawyer, Hugh Davey Evans.
"While there was on the part of a large portion of the
people a deep-rooted and growing dislike to slavery, agitation
on the subject had not commenced. ,It was in fact sup-
pressed by reason of the violence of Northern abolitionists
with whom the friends of emancipation were not able to unite.
It is not surprising that Maryland was in no mood for
war, but that her voice was for compromise and peace com-
promise and peace at any price consistent with honor.
The period immediately following the election of Mr. Lin-
coln in November, 1860, was throughout the country one of
intense agitation and of important events. A large party t at
the North preferred compromise to war, even at the cost of
dissolution of the Union. If dissolution began, no one could
tell where it would stop. South Carolina seceded on the
17th of December, 1860. Georgia and the five Gulf States
soon followed. On the 6th of January, 1861, Fernando
"Wood, mayor of the city of New York, sent a message to
the common council advising that New York should secede
and become a free city. 1
1 John P. Kennedy, of Baltimore, the well-known anthor, who had been
member of Congress and Secretary of the Navy, published early in 1861 a
pamphlet entitled "The Border States, Their Power and Duty in the
Present Disordered Condition of the Country. ' ' His idea was that if concert
of action could be had between the Border States and concurring States of
the South which had not seceded, stipulations might be obtained from the
Free States, with the aid of Congress, and, if necessary, an amendment of
32 Baltimore <wd the 19th of April, 1861.
On February the 9th, Jefferson Davis was elected Presi-
dent of the Southern Confederacy, a Confederacy to which
other States would perhaps soon be added. But the Border
States were as yet debatable ground; they might be retained
by conciliation and compromise or alienated by hostile
measures, whether directed against them or against the
seceded States. In Virginia a convention had been called to
consider the momentous question of union or secession, and
an overwhelming majority of the delegates chosen were in
favor of remaining in the Union. Other States were watching
Virginia's course, in order to decide whether to stay in the
Union or go*out of it with her.
On the 12th and IStih of April occurred the memorable
bombardment and surrender of Fort Suniter. On the 15th
of April, President Lincoln issued his celebrated proclama-
tion calling out seventy-five thousand militia, and appealing
" to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid this effort
to maintain the honor, the integrity and existence of our
National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government,
and to redress wrongs already long enough endured." What
the Constitution, which would protect the rights of the South ; but if this
failed, that the Border States and their allies of the South would then be
forced to consider the Union impracticable and to organize a separate
confederacy of the Border States, with the association of such of the
Southern and Free States as might be willing to accede to the proposed
conditions. He hoped that the Union would thus be " reconstructed by
the healthy action of the Border States." The necessary result, however,
would have been that in the meantime three confederacies would have
been in existence. And yet Mr. Kennedy had always been a Union man* \
and when the war broke out was its consistent advocate.
These proposals, from such different sources as Fernando Wood and
John P. Kennedy, tend to show the uncertainty and bewilderment which
had taken possession of the minds of men, and in which few did not share
to a- greater or less degree.
Proclamation for Troops. 33
these wrongs were is not stated. " The first service assigned
^50 the forces hereby called forth," said the proclamation,
"will probably be to re-possess the forts, places and property
which have been seized from the Union." On the same day
there was issued from the War Department a request ad-
dressed to the Governors of the different States, announcing
what the quota of each State would be, and that the troops
were to serve for three months unless sooner discharged.
Maryland's quota was four regiments.
The proclamation was received with exultation at the
North many dissentient voices being silenced in the general
acclaim with defiance at the South, and in Maryland with
mingled feelings in which astonishment, dismay and dis-
approbation were predominant. On all sides it was agreed
that the result must be war, or a dissolution of the Union,
and I may safely say that a large majority of our people then
preferred the latter.
An immediate effect of the proclamation was to intensify
the feeling of hostility in the wavering States, and to drive
four of them into secession. Virginia acted promptly. On
April 17th her convention passed an ordinance of secession
subject to ratification by a vote of the people and Virginia
became the head and front of the Confederacy. .North Caro-
lina, Tennessee and Arkansas soon followed her lead. Mean-
while, and before the formal acts of secession, the Governors
of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee sent prompt and
defiant answers to the requisition, emphatically refusing to
furnish troops, as did also the Governors of Kentucky and
The position of Maryland was most critical. This State
was especially important, because the capital of the natioa
lay within her borders, and all the roads from the North
34 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
leading to it passed through her territory. After the Presi-
dent's proclamation was issued, no doubt a large majority of
her people sympathized with the South; but even had that
sentiment been far more preponderating, there was an under-
lying feeling that by a sort of geographical necessity her lot
was cast with the North, that the larger and stronger half of
the nation would not allow its capital to be quietly disin-
tegrated away by her secession. Delaware and Maryland
were the only Border States which did not attempt to secede.
Kentucky at first took the impossible stand of an armed
neutrality. When this failed, a portion of her people passed
an ordinance of secession, and a portion of the people of Mis-
souri passed a similar ordinance.
It is now proper to give some explanation of the condition
of affairs in Baltimore, at that time a city of 215,000 inhab-
Thomas Holliday Hicks, who had been elected by the
American, or Know-Nothing party, three years before, was
the Governor of the State. The city authorities, consisting
of the mayor and city council, had been elected in October,
1860, a few weeks before the Presidential election, not as rep-
resentatives of any of the national parties, but as the candi-
dates of an independent reform party, and in opposition to the
Know-Nothing party. This party, which then received its
quietus, had been in power for some years, and had maintained
itself by methods which made its rule little better than a
reign of terror. 1 No one acquainted with the history of that
1 The culmination of this period of misrule was at the election in Novem-
ber, 1859, when the fraud and violence were so flagrant that the Legislature
of the State unseated the whole Baltimore delegation -ten members. The
city being thus without representation, it became necessary, when a special
session of the Legislature was called in April, 1861, that a new delegation
City Authorities of Baltimore. 35
period can doubt that the reform was greatly needed. A large
number of the best men of the American party united in the
movement, and with their aid it became triumphantly suc-
cessful, carrying every ward in the city. The city council was
composed of men of unusually high character. " Taken as a
whole" (Scharf s "History of Maryland," Vol. III., p. 284),
* a better ticket has seldom, if ever, been brought out. In
the selection of candidates all party tests were discarded, and
all thought of rewarding partisan services repudiated/' Four
police commissioners, appointed by the Legislature Charles
Howard, William H. Gatchell, Charles D. Hinks and John
W. Davis men of marked ability and worth, had, with the
mayor, who was esc offido a member of the board, the appoint-
ment and control of the police force. Mr. S. Teackle Wallis
\fras the legal adviser of the board. The entire police force
consisted of 398 men, and had been raised to a high degree of
discipline and efficiency under the command of Marshal
Kane. They were armed with revolvers.
Immediately after the call of the President for troops,
including four regiments from Maryland, a marked division
among the people manifested itself. Two large and excited
crowds, eager for news, and nearly touching each other, stood
from morning until late at night before two newspaper offices
on Baltimore street which advocated contrary views and opin-
ions. Strife was in the air. It was difficult for the police to
keep the peace. Business was almost suspended. Was there
indeed to be war between the sections, or could it yet, by some
from Baltimore should be chosen. It was this same Legislature (elected in
1859), which took away from the mayor of the city the control of its police,
and entrusted tha^; force to a board of police commissioners. This change,
a most fortunate one for the city at that crisis, resulted in the immediate
establishment of good order, and made possible the reform movement of the
36 Baltimore and the IQth of April, 1861.
unlooked-for interposition, be averted ? Would the Border
States interfere and demand peace ? There was a deep and
pervading impression of impending evil. And now an imme-
diate fear was as to the effect on the citizens of the passage of
Northern troops through the city. Should they be permitted
to cross the soil of Maryland, to make war on sister States of
the South, allied to her by so many ties of affection, as well
as of kindred institutions ? On the other hand, when the
capital of the nation was in danger, should not the kindest
greeting and welcome be extended to those who were first to
come to the rescue ? Widely different were the answers given
to these questions. The Palmetto flag had several times been
raised by some audacious hands in street and harbor, but it
was soon torn down. The National flag and the flag of the
State, with its black and orange, the colors of Lord Baltimore^
waved unmolested, but not side by side, for they had become
symbols of different ideas, although the difference was, as yet,
not clearly defined.
On the 17th of April, the state of aflairs became so serious
that I, as mayor, issued a proclamation earnestly invoking all
good citizens to refrain from every act which could lead to
outbreak or violence of any kind; to refrain from harshness
of speech, and to render in all cases prompt and efficient aid>
as by law they were required to do, to the public authorities,
whose constant efforts would be exerted to maintain unbroken
the peace and order of the city, and to administer the laws
with fidelity and impartiality. I cannot flatter myself that
this appeal produced much effect. The excitement was too
great for any words to allay it.
On the 18th of April, notice was received from Haxrisburg
that two companies of Uiaited States artillery, commanded by
Major Pemberton, and also four companies of militify would
C% Authorities of Baltimore. 37
arrive by the Northern Central Kailroad at Bolton Station,
in the northern part of the city, at two o'clock in the after-
noon. The militia had neither arms nor uniforms.
Before the troops arrived at the station, where I was waiting
to receive them, I was suddenly called away by a message
from Governor Hicks stating that he desired to see me on
business of urgent importance, and this prevented my having
personal knowledge of what immediately afterward occurred.
The facts, however, axe that a large crowd assembled at the
station and followed the soldiers in their march to the Wash-
ington station with abuse and threats. The regulars were
not molested, but the wrath of the mob was directed against
the militia, and an attack would certainly have been made
but for the vigilance and determination of the police, under
the command of Marshal Kane.
" These proceedings/' says Mr. Scharf, in the third volume
of his "History of Maryland," page 401, "were an earnest of
what might be expected on the arrival of other troops, the
excitement growing in intensity with every hour. Numerous
outbreaks occurred in the neighborhood of the newspaper
offices during the day, and in the evening a meeting of the
States Eights Convention was held in Taylor's building, on
Fayette street near Calvert, where, it is alleged, very strong
ground was taken against the passage of any more troops
through Baltimore, and armed resistance to it threatened.
On motion of Mr. Ross "Winans, the following resolutions
were unanimously adopted :
" Rteolved, That in the opinion of this convention the prosecution of the
design announced by the President in his late proclamation, of recapturing
the forts in the seceded States, will inevitably lead to a sanguinary war,
the dissolution of the Union, and the irreconcilable estrangement of the
people of the South from the people of the North.
" Resolved, That we protest in the name of the people of Maryland
38 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
against the garrisoning of Southern forts by militia drawn from the free
States ; or the quartering of militia from the free States in any of the towns
or places of the slaveholding States.
" Resolved, That in the opinion of this convention the massing of large
hodies of militia, exclusively from the free States, in the "District of
Columbia, is uncalled for by any public danger or exigency, is a standing
menace to the State of Maryland, and an insult to her loyalty and good
faith, and will, if persisted in, alienate her people from a government
which thus attempts to overawe them by the presence of armed men and
treats them with contempt and distrust.
" Resolved, That the time has arrived when it becomes all good citizens
to unite in a common effort to obliterate all party lines which have hereto-
fore unhappily divided us, and to present an unbroken front in the preser-
vation and defense of our interests, our homes and our firesides, to avert
the horrors of civil war, and to repel, if need be, any invader who may
come to establish a military despotism over us.
"A. C. ROBINSON, Chairman."
" Gk HABLAN WILLIAMS,
" ALBERT RITCHIE,
The names of the members who composed this convention
are not given, but the mover of the resolutions and the officers
of the meeting were men well known and respected in this
The bold and threatening character of the resolutions did
not tend to calm the public mind. They did not, however,
advocate an attack on the troops.
In Putnam's "Record of the Rebellion," Volume I, page
29, the following statement is made of a meeting which was
held on the morning of the 18th of April: "An excited
secession meeting was held at Baltimore, Maryland. T.
Parkin Scott occupied the chair, and speeches denunciatory
of the Administration and the North were made by Wilson C.
N. Carr, William Byrne [improperly spelled Burns], Pres-
ident of the National Volunteer Association, and others."
Increasing Excitement. 39
An account of the meeting is before me, written by Mr.
Carr, lately deceased, a gentleman entirely trustworthy. He
did not know, he says, of the existence of such an association,
but on his way down town having seen the notice of a town
meeting to be held at Taylor's Hall, to take into considera-
tion the state of affairs, he went to the meeting. Mr. Scott
was in the chair and was speaking. He was not making an
excited speech, but, on the contrary, was urging the audience
to do nothing rashly, but to be moderate and not to interfere
with any troops that might attempt to pass through the city.
As soon as he had finished, Mr. Carr was urged to go up to
the platform and reply to Mr. Scott. I now give Mr. Carr's
words. " I went up," he says, " but had no intention of say-
ing anything in opposition to what Mr. Scott had advised
the people to do. I was not there as an advocate of secession,
but was anxious to see some way opened for reconciliation
between the North and South. I did not make an excited
speech nor did I denounce the Administration. I saw that I
was disappointing - the crowd. Some expressed their dis-
approbation pretty plainly and I cut my speech short. As
soon as I finished speaking the meeting adjourned."
After the war was over, Mr. Scott was elected Chief Judge
of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. He was a strong
sympathizer with the South, and had the courage of his con-
victions, but he had been also an opponent of slavery, and I
have it from his own lips -that years before the war, on a
Fourth of July, he had persuaded his mother to liberate all
her slaves, although she depended largely on their services
for her support. And yet ne lived and died a poor man.
, On the 16th of April, Marshal Kane addressed a letter to
William Crawford, the Baltimore agent of the Philadelphia,
"Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad Company, in the follow-
ing terms :
40 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
"Dear JSir : Is it true as stated that' an attempt will be made to pass
the volunteers from New York intended to war upon the South over your
road to-day? It is important that we have explicit understanding on the
subject. Your friend, GEORGE P. KANE."
This letter was not submitted to me, nor to the board of
police. If it had been, it would have been couched in very
different language. Mr. Crawford forwarded it to the Presi-
dent of the road, who, on the same day, sent it to Simon
Cameron, the Secretary of War.
Mr. Cameron, on April 18th, wrote to Governor Hicks,
giving him notice that there were unlawful combinations of
citizens of Maryland to impede the transit of United States
troops across Maryland on their way to the defense of the
capital, and that the President thought it his duty to make
it known to the Governor; so that all loyal and patriotic
citizens might be warned in time, and that he might be pre-
pared to take immediate and effective measures against it.
On the afternoon of the 18th, Governor Hicks arrived in
town. He had prepared a proclamation as Governor of
the State, and wished me to issue another as mayor of the
city, which I agreed to do. In it he said, among other things,
that the unfortunate state of affairs now existing in the country
had greatly excited the people of Maryland; that the
emergency was great, and that the consequences of a rash
step would be fearful. He therefore counselled the people in
all earnestness to withhold their hands from whatever might
tend to precipitate us into the gulf of discord and ruin gap-
ing to receive us. All powers vested in the Governor of the
State would be strenuously exerted to preserve peace and
maintain inviolate the honor and integrity of Maryland-
He assured the people that no troops would be eent from
Maryland, unless it might be for the defense of the national
Increasing Excitement. 41
capital. He concluded by saying that the people of this
State would in a short time have the opportunity afforded
them, in a special election for members of Congress, to express
their devotion to the Union, or their desire to see it broken up.
This proclamation is of importance in several respects.
It shows the great excitement of the people and the imminent
danger of domestic strife. It shows, moreover, that even the
Governor of the State had then little idea of the course which
he himself was soon about to pursue. If this was the case
with the Governor, it could not have been different with
thousands of the people. Very soon he became a thorough
and uncompromising upholder of the war.
In my proclamation I concurred with the Governor in his
determination to preserve the peace and maintain inviolate-
the honor and integrity of Maryland, and added that I could
not withhold my expression of satisfaction at his resolution*
that no troops should be sent from Maryland to the soil of
any other State.
Simultaneously with the passage of the first Northern,
regiments on their way to Washington, came the news that
Virginia had seceded. Two days were crowded with stirring
news a proclamation from the President of the Southern,
Confederacy offering to issue commissions or letters of marque
to privateers, President Lincoln's proclamation declaring a
blockade of Southern ports, the Norfolk Navy Yard aban-
doned, Harper's Ferry evacuated and the arsenal in the hands-
of Virginia troops. These events, so exciting in themselves^
and coming together with the passage of the first troops*,
greatly increased ttie danger of an explosion.
THE SIXTH MASSACHUSETTS KEGIMENT IN BALTIMORE. THE
FIGHT. THE DEPARTURE FOR WASHINGTON. CORRES-
PONDENCE IN REGARD TO THE KILLED AND WOUNDED.
PUBLIC MEETING. TELEGRAM TO THE PRESIDENT. NO
REPLY. BURNING OF BRIDGES.
The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment had the honor of being
the first to march in obedience to the call of the President,
completely equipped and organized. It had a full band and
regimental staff. Mustered at Lowell on the morning of the
16th, the day after the proclamation was issued, four companies
from Lowell presented themselves, and to these were added
two from Lawrence, one from Groton, one from Acton, and
one from Worcester ; and when the regiment reached Boston,
at one o'clock, an additional company was added from that
city and another from Stoneham, making eleven in all about
seven hundred men. 1 It was addressed by the Governor of
the State in front of the State House. In the city and along
the line of the railroad, on the 17th, everywhere, ovations
attended them. In the march down Broadway, in New York,
<on the 18th, the wildest enthusiasm inspired all classes.
Similar scenes occurred in the progress through New Jersey
and through the city of Philadelphia. At midnight on the
ilSth, reports reached Philadelphia that the passage of the
regiment through Baltimore would be disputed.
An unarmed and un-uniformed Pennsylvania regiment,
under Colonel Small, was added to the train, either in Phila-
1 Hanson's Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, p. 14.
The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, 43
delphia or when the train reached the Susquehanna it has
been stated both ways, and I am not sure which account is
correct and the two regiments made the force about seven-
teen hundred men.
The proper course for the Philadelphia, Wilmington and
Baltimore Railroad Company was to have given immediate
notice to the mayor or board of police of the number of the
troops, and the time when they were expected to arrive in
the city, so that preparation might have been made to receive
them, but no such notice was given. On the contrary, it was
purposely withheld, and no information could be obtained
from the office of the company, although the marshal of police
repeatedly telegraphed to Philadelphia to learn when the
troops were to be expected. No news was received until
from a half hour to an hour of the time at which they were
to arrive. "Whatever was the reason that no notice of the
approach of the troops was given, it was not because they
had no apprehensions of trouble. Mr. Felton, the president
of the railroad company, says that before the troops left Phila-
delphia he called the colonel and principal officers into his
office, and told them of the dangers they would probably
encounter, and advised that each soldier should load his
musket before leaving and be ready for any emergency.
Colonel Jones's official report, which is dated, "Capitol,
Washington, April 22, 1861," says, "After leaving Phila-
delphia, I received intimation that the passage through the
city of Baltimore would be resisted. I caused ammunition
to be distributed and arms loaded, and went personally
through the cars, and issued the following order viz. :
" ' The regiment will march through Baltimore in columns
of sections, arms at will. You will undoubtedly be in-
sulted, abused, and perhaps assaulted, to which you must
44 Baltimore and ike 19th of April, 1861.
pay no attention whatever, but march with your faces square
to the front, and pay no attention to the mob, even if they
throw stones, bricks, or other missiles ; but if you are fired
upon, and any of you are hit, your officers will order you to
fire. Do not fire into any promiscuous crowds, but select
any man whom you may see aiming at you, and be sure you
drop him.' "
If due notice had been given, and if this order had been
carried out, the danger of a serious disturbance would have
been greatly diminished. The plainest dictates of prudence
required the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania regiments to
march through the city in a body. The Massachusetts regi-
ment was armed with muskets, and could have defended
itself, and would also have had aid from the police; and
although the Pennsylvania troops were unarmed, they would
have been protected by the police just as troops from the
same State had been protected on the day before. The mayor
and police commissioners would have been present, adding
the sanction and authority of their official positions. But
the plan adopted laid the troops open to be attacked in detail
when they were least able to defend themselves and were out
of the reach of assistance from the police. This plan was
that when the train reached the President-street or Phila-
delphia station, in the southeastern part of Baltimore, each
car should, according to custom, be detached from the engine
and be drawn through the city by four horses for the distance
of more than a mile to the Camden-street or Washington
station, in the southwestern part of the city. Some one had
The train of thirty-five cars arrived at President-street
Station at about eleven o'clock. . The course which the troops
had to take was first northerly on President street, four
fn Pratt, strfifit. a crowded thoroufirh&re leading along
The Sixth Massachusetts in Baltimore. 45
the heads of the docks, then along Pratt street west for nearly
a mile to Howard street, and then south, on Howard street,
one square to the Camden-street station.
Drawn by horses across the city at a rapid pace, about
nine 1 cars, containing seven companies of the Massachusetts
Sixth, reached the Camden-street station, the first carloads
being assailed only with jeers and hisses; but the last car,
containing Company " K " and Major Watson, was delayed on
its passage according to one account was thrown off the track
by obstructions, and had to be replaced with the help of a
passing team ; paving-stones and other missiles were thrown,
the windows were broken, and some of the soldiers were
struck. Colonel Jones was in one of the cars which passed
through. Near Gray street, it happened that a number of
laborers were at work repaving Pratt street, and had taken
up the cobble-stones for the purpose of relaying them. As
the troops kept passing, the crowd of bystanders grew larger,
the excitement and among many the feeling of indignation
grew more intense; each new aggressive act was the signal
and example for further aggression. A. cart coming by with
a load of sand, the track was blocked by dumping the cart-
load upon it I have been told that this was the act of some
merchants and clerks of the neighborhood and then, as a
more effectual means of obstruction, some anchors lying near
the head of the Gray-street dock were dragged up to and
placed across the track. 2
According to some of the published accounts seven cars got through,
which would have been one to each coinpan7, but I believe that the num-
ber of the cars and of the companies did not correspond. Probably the
larger companies were divided.
- For participation in placing this obstruction, a wealthy merchant of
long experience, usually a very peaceful man, was afterward indicted for
treason by the Grand Jury of the Circuit Court of the United States in
Baltimore, "but his trial was not pressed.
46 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
The next car being stopped by these obstructions, the
driver attached the horses to the rear end of the car and drove
it back, with the soldiers, to the President-street station, the
rest of the cars also, of course, having to turn back, or if
any of them had not yet started to remain where they were
at the depot. In the cars thus stopped and turned back there
were four companies, " 0," " D," " I " and L," under Captains
Follansbee, Hart, Pickering and Dike; also the band, which,
I believe, did not leave the depot, and which remained there
with the unarmed Pennsylvania regiment. These four com-
panies, in all about 220 men, formed on President street, in
the midst of a dense and angry crowd, which threatened and
pressed upon the troops, uttering cheers for Jefferson Davis
and the Southern Confederacy, and groans for Lincoln and
the North, with much abusive language. As the soldiers
advanced along President street, the commotion increased;
one of the band of rioters appeared bearing a Confederate
flag, and it was carried a considei^able distance before it was
torn from its staff by citizens. Stones were thrown in great
numbers, and at the corner of Fawn street two of the soldiers
were knocked down by stones and seriously injured. In
crossing Pratt-street bridge, the troops had to pick their way
over joists and scantling, which by this time had been placed
on the bridge to obstruct their passage.
Colonel Jones's official report, from which I have already
quoted, thus describes what happened after the four com-
panies left the cars. As Colonel Jones was not present during
the march, but obtained the particulars from others, it is not
surprising that his account contains errors. These will be
pointed out and corrected later :
" They proceeded to march in accordance with orders, and
had proceeded but a short distance before they were furiously
The Fight. 47
attacked by a shower of missiles, which came faster as they
advanced. They increased their step to double-quick, which
seemed to infuriate the mob, as it evidently impressed the
mob with the idea that the soldiers dared not fire or had no
am munition, and pistol-shots were numerously fired into the
ranks, and one soldier fell dead. The order "Fire!" was
given, and it was executed ; in consequence several of the
mob fell, and the soldiers again advanced hastily. The
mayor of Baltimore placed himself at the head of the column
beside Captain Follansbee, and proceeded with them a short
distance, assuring him that he would protect them, and
begging him not to let the men fire. But the mayor's
patience was soon exhausted, and he seized a musket from
the hands of one of the men, and killed a man therewith ;
and a policeman, who was in advance of the column, also
shot a man with a revolver. They at last reached the cars,
and they started immediately for "Washington. On going
through the train I found there were about one hundred and
thirty missing, including the band and field music. Our
baggage was seized, and we have not as yet been able to
recover any of it. I have found it very difficult to get
reliable information in regard to the killed and wounded, but
believe there were only three killed.
" As the men went into the cars " [meaning the men who
had marched through the city to Camden Station], "I caused
the blinds to the cars to be closed, and took every precaution
to prevent any shadow of offense to the people of Baltimore,
but still the stones flew thick and fast into the train, and it
was with the utmost difficulty that I could prevent the
troops from leaving the cars and revenging the death of
their comrades. After a volley of stones, some one of the
soldiers fired and killed a Mr, Davis, who, I ascertained by
48 Baltimore and the IQth of April, 1861.
reliable witnesses, threw a stone into the car." This is incor-
rectly stated, as will hereafter appear.
It is proper that I should now go back and take up the
narration from my own point of view.
On the morning of the 19th of April I was at my law office
in Saint Paul street after ten o'clock, when three members of
tlje city council came to me with a message from Marshal
Kane, informing me that he had just received intelligence
that troops were about to arrive I did not learn how many
and that he apprehended a disturbance, and requesting me
to go to the Camden-street station. I immediately hastened
to the office of the board of police, and found that they had
received a similar notice. The Counsellor* of the City, Mr.
George M. Gill, and myself then drove rapidly in a carriage
to the Camden-street station. The police commissioners fol-
lowed, and, on reaching the station, we found Marshal Kane
on the ground and the police coming in in squads. A large
and angry crowd had assembled, but were restrained by the
police from committing any serious breach of the peace.
After considerable delay seven of the eleven companies of
the Massachusetts regiment arrived at the station, as already
mentioned, and I saw that the windows of the last car were
badly broken. If o one to whom I applied could inform me
whether more troops were expected or not. At this time an
alarm was given that the mob was about to tear up the rails
in advance of the train on the Washington road, and Marshal
Kane ordered some of his men to go out the road as far as
necessary to protect the track. Soon afterward, and when I
was about to leave the Camden-street station, supposing all
danger to be over, news was brought to Police Commissioner
Davis and myself, who were standing together, that some
troops had been left behind, and that the/ mob was tearing
The Fight 49
up the track on Pratt street, so as to obstruct the progress of
the cars, which were coming to the Camden-street station.
Mr. Davis immediately ran to summon the marshal, who was
at the station with a body of police, to be sent to the point of
danger, while I hastened alone in the same direction. On
arriving at about Smith's Wharf, foot of Gay street, I found
that anchors had been placed on the track, and that Sergeant
McComas and four policemen who were with him were not
allowed by a group of rioters to remove the obstruction. I
at once ordered the anchors to be removed, and my authority
was not resisted. I hurried on, and, approaching Pratt-
street bridge, I saw a battalion, which proved to be four
companies of the Massachusetts regiment which had crossed
the bridge, coming towards me in double-quick time.
They were firing wildly, sometimes backward, over their
shoulders. So rapid was the march that they could not stop
to take aim. The mob, which was not very large, as it seemed
to me, was pursuing with shouts and stones, and, I think, an
occasional pistol-shot. The uproar was furious. I ran at
once to the head of the column, some persons in the crowd
shouting, " Here comes the mayor." I shook hands with the
officer in command, Captain Follansbee, saying as I did so,
" I am the mayor of Baltimore." The captain greeted me
cordially. I at once objected to the double-quick, which was
immediately stopped. I placed myself by his side, and
marched with him. He said, "We have been attacked with-
out provocation," or words to that effect. I replied, " You
must defend yourselves." I expected that he would face his
men to the rear, and, after giving warning, would fire if
necessary. But I said no more, for I immediately felt that,
as mayor of the city, it was not my province to volunteer
such advice. Once before in my life I had taken part in
50 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
opposing a formidable riot, and had learned by experience
that the safest and most humane manner of quelling a mob
is to meet it at the beginning with armed resistance.
The column continued its march. There was neither con-
cert of action nor organization among the rioters. They were
armed only with such stones or missiles as they could pick
up, and a few pistols. My presence for a short time had
some effect, but very soon the attack was renewed with
greater violence. The mob grew bolder. Stones flew thick
and fast. Eioters rushed at the soldiers and attempted
to snatch their muskets, and at least on two occasions suc-
ceeded. With one of these muskets a soldier was killed.
Men fell on both sides. A young lawyer, then and now known
as a quiet citizen, seized a flag of one of the companies and
nearly tore it from its staff. He was shot through the thigh,
and was carried home apparently a dying man, but he sur-
vived to enter the army of the Confederacy, where he rose to
the rank of captain, and he afterward returned to Baltimore,
where he still lives. The soldiers fired at will. There was
no firing by platoons, and I heard no order given to fire, I
remember that at the corner of South street several citizens
standing in a group fell, either killed or wounded. It was
impossible for the troops to discriminate between the rioters
and the by-standers, but the latter seemed to suffer most,
because, as the main attack was from the mob pursuing the
soldiers from the rear, they, in their march, could not easily
face backward to fire, but could shoot at those whom they passed
on the street. Near the corner of Light street a soldier was
severely wounded, who afterward died, and a boy on a vessel
lying in the dock was killed, and about the same place three
soldiers at the head of the column leveled their muskets and
fired into a group standing on the sidewalk, who, as far as I
The Fight. 51
could see, were taking no active part. The shots took effect,
bnt I cannot say how many fell. I cried out, waving my
umbrella to emphasize my words, " For God's sake don't
shoot I" but it was too late. The statement that I begged
Captain Follansbee not to let the men fire is incorrect,
although on this occasion I did say, " Don't shoot/' It then
seemed to me that I was in the wrong place, for my presence
did not avail to protect either the soldiers or the citizens, and
I stepped out from the column. Just at this moment a boy
ran forward and handed to me a discharged musket which
had fallen from one of the soldiers. I took it from him and
hastened into the nearest shop, asking the person in charge to
keep it safely, and returned immediately to the street. This
boy was far from being alone in his sympathy for the troops,
but their friends were powerless, except to care for the wounded
and remove the dead. The statement in Colonel Jones's
report that I seized a musket and killed one of the rioters is
entirely incorrect. The smoking musket seen in my hands
was no doubt the foundation for it. There is no foundation
for the other statement that one of the police shot a man with
a revolver. At the moment when I returned to the street,
Marshal Kane, with about fifty policemen (as I then supposed,
but I have since ascertained that in fact there were not so
many), came at a run from the direction of the Camden-street
station, and throwing themselves in the rear of the troops,
they formed a line in front of the mob, and with drawn
revolvers kept it back. This was between Light and Charles
streets. Marshal Kane's voice shouted, "Keep back, men,
or I shoot 1" This movement, which I saw myself, was gal-
lantly executed, and was perfectly successful. The mob
recoiled like water from a rock. One of the leading rioters,
then a young man, now a peaceful merchant, tried, as he has
52 Baltimore and the \th of April, 1861,
himself told me, to pass the line, but the marshal seized him
and vowed he would shoot if the attempt was made. This
nearly ended the fight, and the column passed on under the
protection of the police, without serious molestation, to Cam-
den Station. 1 I had accompanied the troops for more than
a third of a mile, and regarded the danger as now over. At
Camden-street Station there was rioting and confusion. Com-
missioner Davis assisted in placing the soldiers in the cars
for Washington. Some muskets were pointed out of the
windows by the soldiers. To this he earnestly objected, as
likely to bring on a renewal of the fight, and he advised the
blinds to be closed. The muskets were then withdrawn and
the blinds closed, by military order, as stated by Colonel
At last, about a quarter before one o'clock, the train, con-
sisting of thirteen cars filled with troops, moved out of
Camden Station amid the hisses and groans of the multitude,
and passed safely on to Washington. At the outskirts of
the city, half a mile or more beyond the station, occurred the
unfortunate incident of the killing of Robert W. Davis.
This gentleman, a well-known dry-goods merchant, was
standing on a vacant lot near the track with two friends, and
as the train went by they raised a cheer for Jefferson Davis
and the South, when he was immediately shot dead by one of
the soldiers from a car-window, several firing at once.
There were no rioters near them, and they did not know that
the troops had been attacked on their march through the city.
There was no " volley of stones" thrown just before Mr.
Da, vis was killed, nor did he or his friends throw any. 2 This
1 The accounts in some of our newspapers describe serious fighting at a
point beyond this, but I ana satisfied they are incorrect
2 Testimony of witnesses at the coroner's inquest.
Departure for Washington. 53
was the last of the casualties of the day, and was by far the
most serious and unfortunate in its consequences, for it was
not unnaturally made the most of to inflame the minds of the
people against the Northern troops. Had it not been for this
incident, there would perhaps have been among many of our
people a keener sense of blame attaching to themselves as the
aggressors. Four of the Massachusetts regiment were killed
and thirty-six wounded. Twelve citizens were killed, includ-
ing Mr. Davis. The number of wounded among the latter
has never been ascertained. As the fighting was at close
quarters, the small number of casualties shows that it was
not so severe as has generally been supposed.
But peace even for the day had not come. The unarmed
Pennsylvanians and the band of the Massachusetts regiment
were still at the President-street station, where a mob had
assembled, and the police at that point were not sufficient to
protect them. Stones were thrown, and some few of the
Pennsylvania troops were hurt, not seriously, I believe. A
good many of them were, not unnaturally, seized with a
panic, and scattered through the city in different directions.
Marshal Kane again appeared on the scene with an adequate
force, and an arrangement was made with the railroad com-
pany by which the troops were sent back in the direction of
Philadelphia. Daring the afternoon and night a number of
stragglers sought the aid of the police and were cared for at
one of the station-houses.
The following card of Captain Dike, who commanded
Company " C " of .the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, ap-
peared in the Boston Courier :
"BALTIMORE, April 25, 1861.
'* It is but an act of justice that induces me to say to my friends who
may feel any interest, and to the community generally, that in the affair
54 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
which occurred in this city on Friday, the 19th instant, the mayor and
city authorities should be exonerated from blame or censure, as they did
all in their power, as far as my knowledge extends, to quell tho riot, and
Mayor Brown attested the sincerity of his desire to preserve the peace, and
pass our regiment safely through the city, by marching at the head of its
column, and remaining there at the risk of his life. Candor could not
permit me to say less, and a desire to place the conduct of the authorities
here on the occasion in a right position, as well as to allay feelings, urges
me to this sheer act of justice. JOHN H. DIKE,
" Captain Company ' C,' Seventh Regiment,
attached to Sixth Regiment Massachusetts V. M"
In a letter to Marshal Kane, Colonel Jones wrote as
" HEADQUARTERS SIXTH KECHMENT M. V. M.
" WASHINGTON, D. 0., April 28, 1861.
" Marshal Kane, Baltimore, Maryland.
" Please deliver the bodies of the deceased soldiers belonging to my
regiment to Murrill S. Wright, Esq., who is authorized to receive them,
and take charge of them through to Boston, and thereby add one more to
the many favors for which, in connection with this matter, I am, with
my command, much indebted to you. Many, many thanks for the Chris-
tian conduct of the authorities of Baltimore in this truly unfortunate
"lam, with much respect, your obedient servant,
"EDWARD F. JONES,
" Colonel Sixth Regiment M. V. M"
The following correspondence with the Governor of Massa-
chusetts seems to be entitled to a place in this paper. Gov.
Andrew's first telegram cannot be found. The second, which
was sent by me in reply, is as follows :
" BALTIMORE, April 20, 1861.
" To the Honorable John A. Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts.
" JSir : No one deplores the sad events of yesterday in this city more
deeply than myself, but they were inevitable. Our people viewed the
passage of armed troops to another State through the streets as an invasion
Correspondence with Governor Andrew. 55
of our soil, and could not be restrained. The authorities exerted them-
selves to the best of their ability, but with only partial success. Governor
Hicks was present, and concurs in all my views as to the proceedings now
necessary for our protection. When are these scenes to cease ? Are we
to have a war of sections? God forbid ! The bodies of the Massachu-
setts soldiers could not be sent out to Boston, as you requested, all com-
munication between this city and Philadelphia by railroad and with Boston
by steamer having ceased, but they have been placed in cemented coffins,
and will be placed with proper funeral ceremonies in the mausoleum of
Greenmount Cemetery, where they shall be retained until further direc-
tions are received from you. The wounded are tenderly cared for. I
appreciate your offer, but Baltimore will claim it as her right to pay all
" Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
" GEO. WM. BROWN,
"Mayor of Baltimore."
To this the following reply was returned by the Governor :
" To His Honor George W. Brown, Mayor of Baltimore.
" Dear Sir : I appreciate your kind attention to our wounded and our
dead, and trust that at the earliest moment the remains of our fallen will
return to us. I am overwhelmed with surprise that a peaceful march of
American citizens over the highway to the defense of our common capital
should be deemed aggressive to Baltimoreans. Through New York the
march was triumphal. JOHN A. ANDREW,
'* Governor of MassacTwsetfa."
This correspondence carries the narrative beyond the
nineteenth of April, and I now return to the remaining
events of that day.
After the news spread through the city of the fight in the
streets, and especially of the killing of Mr. Davis, the excite-
ment became intense. It was manifest that no more troops,
while the excitement lasted, could pass through without a
bloody conflict. All citizens, no matter what were their
political opinions, appeared to agree in this the strongest
56 Baltimore cmd the 19th of April, 1861.
friends of the Union as well as its foes. However such a
conflict might terminate, the result would be disastrous. In
each case it might bring down the vengeance of the North
upon the cit) r . If the mob succeeded, it would probably
precipitate the city, and perhaps the State, into a temporary
secession. Such an event all who had not lost their reason
deprecated. The immediate and pressing necessity was that
no more troops should arrive.
Governor Hicks called out the military for the preserva-
tion of the .peace and the protection of the city.
An immense public meeting assembled in Monument
Square. Governor Hicks, the mayor, Mr. S. Teackle Wallis,
and others, addressed it.
In my speech I insisted on the maintenance of peace and
order in the city. I denied that the right of a State to
secede from the Union was granted by the Constitution.
This was received with groans and shouts of disapproval by
a part of the crowd, but I maintained my ground. I depre-
cated war on the- seceding States, and strongly expressed the
opinion that the South could not be conquered. I approved
of Governor Hicks's determination to send no troops from
Maryland to invade the South. I further endeavored to
calm the people by informing them of the efforts made by
Governor Hicks and myself to prevent the passage of more
troops through the city.
Governor Hicks said : " I coincide in the sentiment of
your worthy mayor. After three conferences we have agreed,
and I bow in submission to the people. I am a Mary-
lander ; I love my State and I love the Union, but I will
suffer my right arm to be torn from my body before I will
raise it to strike a sister State."
A dispatch had previously been sent by Governor Hicks
Teleffram to the President. 57
and myself to the President of the United States as follows :
" A collision between the citizens and the Northern troops
has taken place in Baltimore, and the excitement is fearful.
Send no troops here. We will endeavor to prevent all
bloodshed. A public meeting of citizens has been called,
and the troops of. the State have been called out to preserve
the peace. They will be enough. "
Immediately afterward, Messrs, H. Lennox Bond, a
Republican, then Judge of the Criminal Court of Baltimore,
and now Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States ;
George W. Dobbin, an eminent lawyer, and John C. Brune,
President of the Board of Trade, went to Washington at my
request, bearing the following letter to the President :
'* MAYOR'S OFFICE, BALTIMORE, April 19, 1861.
" Sir : This will be presented to you by the Hon. H. Lennox Bond, and
George W. Dobbin, and John C. Brune, Esqs., who will proceed to Wash-
ington by an express train at my request, in order to explain fully the
fearful condition of affairs in this city. The people are exasperated to the
highest degree by the passage of troops, and the citizens are universally
decided in the opinion that no more should be ordered to come. The
authorities of the city did their best to-day to protect both strangers and
citizens and to prevent a collision, but in vain, and, but for their great
efforts, a fearful slaughter would have occurred. Under these circum-
stances it is my solemn duty to inform you that it is not possible for more
soldiers to pass through Baltimore unless they fight their way at every
step. I therefore hope and trust and most earnestly request that no more
troops be permitted or ordered by the Government to pass through the
city. If they should attempt it, the responsibility for the blood shed will
not rest upon me.
" With great respect, your obedient servant,
" GEO. WM. BBOWW, Mayor.
" To His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President United States."
To this Governor Hicks added : " I have been in Baltimore
City since Tuesday evening last, and cooperated with Mayor
58 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
G. "W. Brown in his untiring efforts to allay and prevent the
excitement and suppress the fearful outbreak as indicated
above ; and I fully concur in all that is said by him in the
No reply came from Washington. The city authorities
were left to act on their own responsibility. Late at night
reports came of troops being on their way both from Harris-
burg and Philadelphia. It was impossible that they could
pass through the city without fighting and bloodshed. In this
emergency, the board of police, including the mayor, im-
mediately assembled for consultation, and came to the con-
clusion that it was necessary to burn or disable the bridges
on both railroads so far as was required to prevent the in-
gress of troops. This was accordingly done at once, some of
the police and a detachment of the Maryland Guard being
sent out to do the work. Governor Hicks was first consulted
and urged to give his consent, for we desired that he should
share with us the responsibility of taking this grave step.
This consent he distinctly gave in my presence and in the
presence of several others, and although there was an attempt
afterward to deny the fact that he so consented, there can be
no doubt whatever about the matter. He was in my house
at the time, where, on my invitation, he had taken refuge,
thinking that he was in some personal danger at the hotel
where he was staying. Early the next morning the Governor
returned to Annapolis, and after this the city authorities had
to bear alone the responsibilities which the anomalous state
of things in Baltimore had brought upon them.
On the Philadelphia Eailroad the detachment sent out by
special train for the purpose of burning the bridges went as
far as the Bush Biver, and the long bridge there, and the
still longer one over the wide estuary of the Gunpowder, a
Burning of the Bridges. 59
few miles nearer Baltimore, were partially burned. It is an
interesting fact that just as this party arrived at the Bush
Kiver bridge, a volunteer party of five gentlemen from Balti-
more reached the same place on the same errand. They had
ridden on horseback by night to the river, and had then
gone by boat to the bridge for the purpose of burning it, and
in fact they stayed at the bridge and continued the work of
burning until the afternoon.
APRIL 20TH, INCREASING EXCITEMENT. APPROPRIATION OF
$500,000 FOR DEFENSE OF THE CITY. CORRESPONDENCE
WITH PRESIDENT AND GOVERNOR. MEN ENROLLED.
APPREHENDED ATTACK ON FORT McHENRY. MARSHAL
KANE. INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT, CABINET AND
GENERAL SCOTT. GENERAL BUTLER, WITH THE EIGHTH
MASSACHUSETTS, PROCEEDS TO ANNAPOLIS AND WASHING-
TON. BALTIMORE IN A STATE OF ARMED NEUTRALITY.
On Saturday morning, the 20th, the excitement and alarm
had greatly increased. Up to this time no answer had been
received from Washington. The silence became unbearable.
Were more troops to be forced through the city at any cost ?
If so, how were they to come, by land or water? Were the
guns of Fort McHenry to be turned upon the inhabitants ?
Was Baltimore to be compelled at once to determine whether
she would side with the North or with the South? Or was
she temporarily to isolate herself and wait until the frenzy
had in some measure spent its force and reason had begun to
resume its sway? In any case it was plain that the author-
ities must have the power placed in their hands of controlling
any outbreak which might occur. This was the general
opinion. Union men and disunion men appeared on the
streets with arms in their hands. A time like that predicted
in Scripture seemed to have come, when he who had no sword
would sell his garment to buy one.
About ten A. M. the city council assembled and immedi-
ately appropriated $500,000, to be expended under my direction
Correspondence with Governor and President. 61
as mayor, for the purpose of putting the city in a complete state
of defense against any description of danger arising or which
might arise out of the present crisis. The banks of the city
promptly held a meeting, and a few hours afterward a com-
mittee appointed by them, consisting of three bank presi-
dents, Johns Hopkins, John Clark and Columbus O'Donnell,
all wealthy Union men, placed the whole sum in advance at
my disposal. Mr. Scharf, in his "History of Maryland/'
Volume 3, page 416, says, in a footnote, that this action of
the city authorities was endorsed by the editors of the Sun,
American, Exchange, German Correspondent, Clipper, South,
etc. Other considerable sums were contributed by indi-
viduals and firms without respect to party.
On the same morning I received a dispatch from Messrs.
Bond, Dobbin and Brune, the committee who had gone to
Washington, which said: "We have seen the President and
General Scott. We have from the former a letter to the
mayor and Governor declaring that no troops shall be
brought to Baltimore, if, in a military point of view and
without interruption from opposition, they can be marched
As the Governor had left Baltimore for Annapolis early
in the morning, I telegraphed him as follows :
" BALTIMOBE, April 20, 1861.
" To Governor Jfficfo.
" Letter from President and General Scott. No troops to pass through
Baltimore it as a military force they can march around. I will answer
that every effort will be made to prevent parties leaving the city to molest
them, but cannot guarantee against acts of individuals not organized.
Do you approve ? GKO. WM. BBOWK."
This telegram was based on that from Messrs. Bond,
Dobbin and Brune. The letter referred to had not been
62 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
received wlien my telegram to Governor Hicks was dis-
patched. I was mistaken in supposing that General Scott
had signed the letter as well as the President.
President Lincoln's letter was as follows :
" WASHINGTON, April 20, 1861.
" Governor Sides and Mayor Brown.
" Gentlemen : Your letter by Messrs. Bond, Dobbin and Brune is
received. I tender you both my sincere thanks for your efforts to keep
the peace in the trying situation in which you are placed. For the future
troops must be brought here, but I make no point of bringing them
" Without any military knowledge myself, of course I must leave details
to General Scott. He hastily said this morning, in presence of these
gentlemen, ' March them around Baltimore, and not through it.'
"I sincerely hope the General, on fuller reflection, will consider this
practical and proper, and that you will not object to it.
" By this, a collision of the people of Baltimore with the troops will be
avoided unless they go out of their way to seek it. I hope you will exert
your influence to prevent this.
" Now and ever I shall do all in my power for peace consistently with
the maintenance of government.
' * Your obedient servant, A. LINCOLN. ' '
Governor Hicks replied as follows to my telegram :
"ANNAPOLIS, April 20, 1861.
" To the Mayor of Baltimore.
"Your dispatch received. I hoped they would send no more troops
through Maryland, but as we have no right to demand that, I am glad
no more are to be sent through Baltimore. I know you will do all in your
power to preserve the peace. THOS. H. HICKS."
I tihen telegraphed to the President as follows :
"BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 20, 1861.
' ' To President lAncoln.
" Every effort will be made to prevent parties leaving the city to molest
troops marching to Washington. Baltimore seeks only to protect herself.
Governor Hicks has gone to Annapolis, but I have telegraphed to him.
" GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor of Baltimore. > '
Defense of the City. 63
After the receipt of the dispatch from Messrs, Bond, Dob-
bin and Brune, another committee was sent to Washington,
consisting of Messrs. Anthony Kennedy, Senator of the
United States, and J. Morrison Harris, member of the House
of Representatives, both Union men, who sent a dispatch to
me saying that they " had seen the President, Secretaries of
State, Treasury and War, and also General Scott. The result
is the transmission of orders that will stop the passage of
troops through or around the city."
Preparations for the defense of the city were nevertheless
continued. With this object I issued a notice in which I said :
"All citizens having arms suitable for the defense of the city,
and which they are willing to contribute for the purpose, are
requested to deposit them at the office of the marshal of
The board of police enrolled temporarily a considerable
number of men and placed them under the command of
Colonel Isaac B. Trimble. He informs me that the number
amounted to more than fifteen thousand, about three-fourths
armed with muskets, shotguns and pistols.
This gentleman was afterward a Major-General in the Con-
federate Ajmy, where he distinguished himself. He lost a
leg at Gettysburg.
By this means not only was the inadequate number of tfie
police supplemented, but many who would otherwise have
been the disturbers of the peace became its defenders. And,
indeed, not a few of the men enrolled, who thought and hoped
that their enrollment meant wax, were disappointed to find
that the prevention of war was the object of the city author-
ities, and afterwards found their way into the Confederacy,
For some days it looked very much as if Baltimore had
taken her stand decisively with the South ; at all events, the
64 Baltimore and tJie 19ft of April, 1861.
outward expressions of Southern feeling were very emphatic,
and the Union sentiment temporarily disappeared.
Early on the morning of Saturday, the 20th, a large Con-
federate flag floated from the headquarters of a States Eights
club on Fayette street near Calvert, and on the afternoon of
the same day the Minute Men, a Union club, whose head-
quarters were on Baltimore street, gave a most significant
indication of the strength of the wave of feeling which swept
over our people by hauling down the National colors and
running up in their stead the State flag of Maryland, amid
the cheers of the crowd. 1 Everywhere on the streets men
and boys were wearing badges which displayed miniature
Confederate flags, and were cheering the Southern cause.
Military companies began to arrive from the (bounties. On
Saturday, first came a company of seventy men from Fred-
erick, under Captain Bradley T. Johnson, afterward General
in the Southern Army, and next two cavalry companies
from Baltimore County, and one from Anne Arundel County.
These last, the Patapsco Dragoons, some thirty men, a sturdy-
looking body of yeomanry, rode straight to the City Hall
and drew up, expecting to be received with a speech of wel-
come from the mayor. I made them a very brief address,
and informed them that dispatches received from Washington
had postponed the necessity for their services, whereupon they
started homeward amid cheers, their bugler striking up
" Dixie/' which was the first time I heard that tune. A few
days after, they came into Baltimore again. On Sunday came
in the Howard Couniy Dragoons, and by steamboat that
morning two companies from Talbot County, and soon it was
reported that from Harford, Cecil, Carroll and Prince George's,
companies were on their way. All the city companies of
1 Baltimore American, April 28.
Defense of the City. 65
uniformed militia were, of course, under arms. Three bat-
teries of light artillery were in the streets, among them the
light field-pieces belonging to the military school at Catons-
ville, but these the reverend rector of the school, a strong
Union man, had thoughtfully spiked.
The United States arsenal at Pikesville, at the time unoc-
cupied, was taken possession of by some Baltimore County
From the local columns of the American of the 22d, a
paper which was strongly on the Union side, I take the follow-
ing paragraph :
"WAR SPIRIT OK SATURDAY.
" The war spirit raged throughout the city and among all
classes during Saturday with an ardor which seemed to gather
fresh force each hour. . . All were united in a determina-
tion to resist at every hazard the passage of troops through Bal-
timore. . . Armed men were marching through the streets,
and the military were moving about in every direction, and
it is evident that Baltimore is to be the battlefield of the
And from the American of Tuesday, 23d :
"At the works of the Messrs. "Winans their entire force is
engaged in the making of pikes, and in casting balls of every
description for cannon, the steam gun, 1 rifles, muskets, etc.,
which they are turning out very rapidly."
And a very significant paragraph from the Sun of iihe same
" Yesterday morning between 300 and 400 of our most
respectable colored residents made a tender of their services
1 Winans's steam gun, a recently invented, and, it was supposed, very
formidable engine, was much talked about at this time. It was not very
long afterwards seized and confiscated by the military authorities.
66 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
to the city authorities. The mayor thanked them for their
offer, and informed them that their services will be called for
if they can be made in any way available."
Officers from Maryland in the United States Army were
sending in their resignations. Colonel (afterward General)
Huger, of South Carolina, who had recently resigned, and
was in Baltimore at the time, was made Colonel of the
Fifty-third Eegiment, composed of the Independent Greys
and the six companies of the Maryland Guard.
On Monday morning, the 22d, I issued an order directing
that all the drinking-saloons should be closed that day, and
the order was enforced.
On Saturday, April 20th, Captain John C. Robinson, now
Major-General, then in command at Fort McHenry, which
stands at the entrance of the harbor, wrote to Colonel L.
Thomas, Adjutant-General of the United States Army, that
he would probably be attacked that night, but he believed he
could hold the fort.
In the September number, for the year 1885, of AmeriGan
History there is an article written by General Robinson,
entitled "Baltimore in 1861," in which he speaks of the
apprehended attack on the fort, and of the conduct of the
He says that about nine o'clock on the evening of the 20th,
Police Commissioner Davis called at the fort, bringing a let-
ter, .dated eight o'clock P. M. of the same evening, from
Charles Howard, the president of the board, which he quotes
at length, and which states that, from rumors that had reached
the board, they were apprehensive that the commander of the
fort might be annoyed by lawless and disorderly characters
approaching the walls of the fort, and they proposed to send
a guard of perhaps two hundred men to station themselves
Fort McHenry. 67
on Whetstone Point, of course beyond the outer limits of
the fort, with orders to arrest and hand over to the civil
authorities any evil-disposed and disorderly persons who
might approach the fort. The letter further stated that this
duty would have been confided to the police force, but their
services were so imperatively required elsewhere that it would
be impossible to detail a sufficient number, and this duty had
therefore been entrusted to a detachment of the regular organ-
ized militia of the State, then called out pursuant to law, and
actually in the service of the State. It was added that the com-
manding officer of the detachment would be ordered to commu-
nicate with Captain Kobinson. The letter closed with repeating
the assurance verbally given to Captain Eobinson in the
morning that no disturbance at or near the post should be
made with the sanction of any of the constituted authorities
of the city of Baltimore ; but, on the contrary, all their
powers should be exerted to prevent anything of the kind by
any parties. A postscript stated that there might perhaps be
a troop of volunteer cavalry with the detachment.
General Robinson continues :
" I did not question the good faith, of Mr. Howard, but Commissioner
Davis verbally stated that they proposed to send the Maryland Guards to
help protect the fort. Having made the acquaintance of some of the offi-
cers of that organization, and heard them freely express their opinions, I
declined the offered support, and then the following conversation occurred :
" Commandant. I am aware, sir, that we are to be attacked to-night.
I received notice of it before sundown. If you will go outside with me
you will see we are prepared for it. You will find the guns loaded, and
men standing by them. As for the Maryland Guards, they cannot come
here. I am acquainted with some of those gentlemen, and know what
their sentiments are.
" Commissioner. Dams. Why, Captain, we are anxious to avoid a col-
" Commandant. So am I, sir. If you wish to avoid a collision, place
68 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861.
your city military anywhere between the city and that chapel on the road,
but if they come this side of it, I shall fire on them.
" Commissioner Davis. Would you fire into the city of Baltimore ?
" Commandant. I should be sorry to do it, sir, but if it becomes neces-
sary in order to hold this fort, I shall not hesitate for one moment.
" Commissioner Davis (excitedly). I assure yon, Captain Robinson, if
there is a woman or child killed in that city, there will not be one of you
left alive here, sir,
" Commandant. Very well, sir, I will take the chances. Now, I assure
you, Mr. Davis, if your Baltimore mob comes down here to-night, you will
not have another mob in Baltimore for ten years to come, sir."
Mr. Davis is a well-known and respected citizen of Balti-
more, who has filled various important public offices with
credit, and at present holds a high position in the Baltimore
and Ohio Railroad Company. According to his recollection,
the interview was more courteous and less dramatic than would
be supposed from the account given by General Robinson.
Mr. Davis says that the people of Baltimore were acquainted
with the defenseless condition of the fort, and that in the
excited state of the public mind this fact probably led to the
apprehension and consequent rumor that an attempt would
be made to capture it. The police authorities believed, and,
as it turned out, correctly, that the rumor was without founda-
tion ; yet, to avoid the danger of any disturbance whatever,
the precautions were taken which are described in the letter
of Mr. Howard, and Mr. Davis went in person to deliver it
to Captain Robinson.
His interview was not, however, confined to Captain Robin-
son, but included also other officers of the fort, and Mr.
Davis was hospitably received. A conversation ensued in
regard to the threatened attack, and, with one exception, was
conducted without asperity. A junior officer threatened, in case
of an attack, to direct the fire of a cannon on the Washing-
ton Monument, which stands in the heart of the city, and to
Fort MoHenry. 69
this threat Mr. Davis replied with heat, " If you do that,
and if a woman or child is killed, there will be nothing left
of you but your brass buttons to tell who you were."
The commandant insisted that the military sent by the
board should not approach the fort nearer than the Roman
Catholic chapel, a demand to which Mr. Davis readily
assented, as that situation commanded the only approach
from the city to the fort. In the midst of the conversation
the long roll was sounded, arid the whole garrison rushed to
arms. For a long time, and until the alarm was over, Mr.
Davis was left alone.
General Robinson was mistaken in his conjecture, "when
it seemed to him that for hours of the night mounted men
from the country were crossing the bridges of the Patapsco."
There was but one bridge over the Patapsco, known as the
Long Bridge, from which any sound of passing horsemen or
vehicles of any description could possibly have been heard at
the fort. The sounds which did reach the fort from the Long
Bridge during the hours of the night were probably the
market wagons of Anne Arundel County passing to and
from the city on their usual errand, and the one or two com-
panies from that county, which came to Baltimore during the
period of disturbance, no doubt rode in over the Long
Bridge by daylight.
General Robinson, after describing in his paper the riot of
the 19th of April and the unfortunate event of the killing of
Mr. Davis, adds: "It is impossible to describe the intense
excitement that now prevailed. Only those who saw and
felt it can understand or conceive any adequate idea of its
extent"; and in this connection he mentions the fact that
Marshal Kane, chief of the police force, on the evening of
the 19th of April, telegraphed to Bradley T. Johnson, at
70 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
Frederick, as follows : " Streets red with Maryland blood ;
send expresses over the mountains of Maryland and Virginia
for the riflemen to come without delay. Fresh hordes will be
down on us to-morrow. We will fight them and whip them,
The sending of this dispatch was indeed a startling event,
creating a new complication and embarrassing in the highest
degree to the city authorities. The marshal of police, who
had gallantly and successfully protected the national troops
on the 18th and 19th, was so carried away by the frenzy of
the hour that he had thus on his own responsibility sum-
moned volunteers from Virginia and Maryland to contest the
passage of national troops through the city. Different views
were taken by members of the board of police. It was con-
sidered, on the one hand, that the services of Colonel Kane were,
in that crisis, indispensable, because no one could control as he
could the secession element of the city, which was then in the
ascendant and might get control of the city, and, on the other,
that his usefulness had ceased, because not only had the gravest
offense been given to the Union sentiment of the city by
this dispatch, but the authorities in "Washington, while he was
at the head of the police, could no longer have any confidence
in the police, or perhaps in the board itself. The former
It is due to Marshal Kane to say that subsequently, and
while he remained in office, he performed his duty to the
satisfaction of the Board. Some years after the war was over
he was elected sheriff, and still later mayor of the city, and in
both capacities he enjoyed the respect and regard of the
It may with propriety be added that the conservative position
and action of the police board were so unsatisfectory to many
Interview with the President. 71
of the more heated Southern partisans, that a scheme was
at one time seriously entertained by them to suppress the
board, and transfer the control of the police force to other
hands. Happily for all parties, better counsels prevailed.
On Sunday, the 21st of April, with three prominent citizens
of Baltimore, I went to Washington, and we there had an
interview with the President and Cabinet and General Scott.
This interview was of so much importance, that a statement
of what occurred was prepared on the same day and was
immediately published. It is here given at length :
BALTIMOBE, April 21.
Mayor Brown received a dispatch, from the President of the United
States at three o'clock A. M. (this morning), directed to himself and Gov-
ernor Hicks, requesting them to go to Washington by special train, in
order to consult with Mr. Lincoln for the preservation of the peace of
Maryland. The mayor replied that Governor Hicks was not in the city, and
inquired if he should go alone. Receiving an answer by telegraph in the
affirmative, his Honor, accompanied by George W. Bobbin, John 0. Brune
andS. T. Wailis, Esqs., whom he had summoned to attend him, proceeded
at once to the station. After a series of delays they were enabled to procure
a special train about half -past seven o'clock, in which they arrived at
Washington about ten.
They repaired at once to the President's house, where they were admitted
to an immediate interview, to which the Cabinet and General Scott were
summoned. A long conversation and discussion ensued. The President,
upon his part, recognized the good faith of the city and State authorities,
and insisted upon his own. He admitted the excited state of feeling in
Baltimore, and his desire and duty to avoid the fatal consequences of a
collision with the people. He urged, on the other hand, the absolute,
irresistible necessity of having a transit through the State for such troops
as might be necessary for the protection of the Federal capital. The pro-
tection of Washington, he asserted with great earnestness, was the sole
object of concentrating troops there, and he protested that none of the
troops brought through Maryland were intended for any purposes hostile to
the State, or aggressive as against the Southern States. Being now unable
to bring them up the Potomac in security, the President must either bring
them through Maryland or abandon the capital.
72 Baltimore and the IQth of April, 1861.
He called on General Scott for his opinion, which the General gave at
length, to the effect that troops might be brought through Maryland with-
out going through Baltimore, by either carrying them from Perryville to
Annapolis, and thence by rail to Washington, or by bringing them to
the Relay House on the Northern Central Railroad [about seven miles
north of the city], and marching them to the Relay House on the Wash-
ington Railroad [about seven miles south-west of the city], and thence by
rail to the capital. If the people would permit them to go by either of
these routes uninterruptedly, the necessity of their passing through Balti-
more would be avoided. If the people would not permit them a transit
thus remote from the city, they must select their own best route, and, if
need be, fight their own way through Baltimore a result which the
General earnestly deprecated.
The President expressed his hearty concurrence in the desire to avoid a
collision, and said that no more troops should be ordered through Balti-
more if they were permitted to go uninterrupted by either of the other
routes suggested. In this disposition the Secretary of War expressed his
Mayor Brown assured the President that the city authorities would use
all lawful means to prevent their citizens from leaving Baltimore to attack
the troops in passing at a distance ; but he urged, at the same time, the
impossibility of their being able to promise anything more than their best
efforts in that direction. The excitement was great, he told the President,
the people of all classes were fully aroused, and it was impossible for any one
to answer for the consequences of the presence of Northern troops any where
within our borders. He reminded the President also that the jurisdiction of
the city authorities was confined to their own population, and that he could
give no promises for the people elsewhere, because he would be unable to keep
them if given. The President frankly acknowledged this difficulty, and
said that the Government would only ask the city authorities to use their
best efforts with respect to those under their jurisdiction.
The interview terminated with, the distinct assurance on the part of the
President that no more troops would be sent through Baltimore, unless
obstructed in their transit in other directions, and with the understanding
that the city authorities should do their best to restrain their own people.
The Mayor and his companions availed themselves of the President's
full discussion of the day to urge upon him respectfully, but in the most
earnest manner, a course of policy which would give peace to the country,
and especially the withdrawal of all orders contemplating the passage of
troops through any part of Maryland.
Interview with the President. 73
On returning to the cars, and when just about to leave, about 2 P. M.,
the Mayor received a dispatch from Mr. Garrett (the President of the Balti-
more and Ohio Railroad) announcing the approach of troops to Cockeys-
ville [about fourteen miles from Baltimore on the Northern Central Bail-
road], and the excitement consequent upon it in the city. Mr. Brown and
his companions returned at once to the President and asked an immediate
audience, which was promptly given. The Mayor exhibited Mr. Garrett '3
dispatch, which gave the President great surprise. He immediately sum-
moned the Secretary of War and General Scott, who soon appeared with
other members of the Cabinet. The dispatch was submitted. The Presi-
dent at once, in the most decided way, urged the recall of the troops, saying
he had no idea they would be there. Lest there should be the slightest sus-
picion of bad faith on his part in summoning the Mayor to Washington;
and allowing troops to march on the city during his absence, he desired
that the troops should, if it were practicable, be sent back at once to York
or Harrisburg. General Scott adopted the President's views warmly, and
an order was accordingly prepared by the Lieutenant-General to that
effect, and forwarded by Major Belger, of the Army, who also accompanied
the Mayor to this city. The troops at Cockeysville, the Mayor was
assured, were not brought there for transit through the city, but were
intended to be marched to the Relay House on the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad. They will proceed to Harrisburg, from there to Philadelphia,
and thence by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal or by Perryville, as
Major-General Patterson may direct.
This statement is made by the authority of the Mayor and Messrs. George
W. Dobbin, John C. Brune and S. T. Wallis, who accompanied Mr.
Brown, and who concurred with him in all particulars in the course adopted
by him in the two interviews with Mr. Lincoln.
GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor,.
This statement was written by Mj^jpFallis, at the request
of his associates, on the train, and w v given to the public
immediately on their return to the city.
In the course of the first conversation MX. Simon Cameron
called my attention to the fact that an iron bridge on the
Northern Central Railway, which, he remarked, belonged to
the city of Baltimore, had been disabled by a skilled person
so as to inflict little injury on the bridge, and he desired to
74 Baltimore amd the l$th of April, 1861.
know by what authority this had been done. Up to this time
nothing had been said about the disabling of the bridges. In
reply I addressed myself to the President, and said, with
much earnestness, that the disabling of this bridge, and of the
other bridges, had been done by authority, as the reader has
already been told, and that it was a measure of protection on
a sudden emergency, designed to prevent bloodshed in the
city of Baltimore, and not an act of hostility towards the
General Government; that the people of Maryland had
always been deeply attached to the Union, which had been
shown on all occasions, but that they, including the citizens
of Baltimore, regarded the proclamation calling for 75,000
troops as an act of war on the South, and a violation of its
constitutional rights, and that it was not surprising that a
high-spirited people, holding such opinions, should resent
the passage of Northern troops through their city for such a
Mr. Lincoln was greatly moved, and, springing up from
his chair, walked backward and forward through the apart-
ment. He said, with great feeling, " Mr. Brown, I am not
a learned man! I am not a learned man!" that his pro-
clamation had not been correctly understood ; that he had no
intention of bringing on war, but that his purpose was to
defend the capital, which was in danger of being bombarded
from the heights across the Potomac.
I am giving here w|y a part of a frank and full conversa-
tion, in which others present participated.
The telegram of Mr. Garrett to me referred to in the pre-
ceding statement is in the following words : " Three thousand
Northern troops are reported to be at Cockeysville. Intense
excitement prevails. Churches have been dismissed and the
people are arming in mass. To prevent terrific bloodshed,
tiae result of your interview and arrangement is awaited."
Interview with the President. 75
To this the following reply to Mr. Garrett was made by me :
"Your telegram received on our return from an interview
with the President, Cabinet and General Scott. Be calm and
do nothing until you hear from me again. I return to see
the President at once and will telegraph again. Wallis,
Brune and Dobbin are with me."
Accordingly, after the second interview, the following dis-
patch was sent by me to Mr. Garrett : "We have again seen
the President, General Scott, Secretary of "War and other
members of the Cabinet, and the troops are ordered to return
forthwith to Harrisburg. A messenger goes with us from
General Scott. We return immediately."
Mr. Garrett's telegram was not exaggerated. It was a
fearful day in Baltimore. Women and children, and men,
too, were wild with excitement. A certainty of a fight in
the streets if Northern troops should enter was the pressing
danger. Those who were arming in hot haste to resist the
passage of Northern troops little recked of the fearful risk to
which they were exposing themselves and all they held dear.
It was well for the city and State that the President had
decided as he did. When the President gave his deliberate
decision that the troops should pass around Baltimore and
not through it, General Scott, stern soldier as he sometimes
was, said with emotion, " Mr. President, I thank you for
this, and God will bless you for it."
From the depth of our hearts my colleagues and myself
thanked both the General and the President.
The troops on the line of the Northern Central Railway
some 2400 men, about half of them armed did not receive
their orders to return to Pennsylvania until after several
days. As they had expected to make the journey to Wash-
ington by rail, they were naturally not well equipped or
76 Baltimore and tJie 19th of April, 1861.
supplied for camp life. I take the following from the Sun
of April 23d : " By order of Marshal Kane, several wagon-
loads of bread and meat were sent to the camp of the Penn-
sylvania troops, it being understood that a number were sick
and suffering for proper food and nourishment. . . . One of
the Pennsylvanians died on Sunday and was buried within
the encampment. Two more died yesterday and a number
of others were on the sick list. The troops were deficient in
food, having nothing but crackers to feed upon."
The Eighth Massachusetts Kegiment, under command of-..
General Butler, was the next which passed through Maryland.
It reached Perry ville, on the Susquehanna, by rail on the 20th,
and there embarked on the steamboat Maryland, arriving at
Annapolis early on the morning of the 21st. Governor Hicks
addressed the General a note advising that he should not land
his men, on account of the great excitement there, and stated
that he had telegraphed to that effect to the Secretary of War.
The Governor also wrote to the President, advising him
to order elsewhere the troops then off Atmapolis, and to send
no more through Maryland, and added the surprising sug-
gestion that Lord Lyons, the British Minister, be requested
to act as mediator between the contending parties of the
The troops, however, were landed without opposition.
The railway from Annapolis leading to the Washington road
had, in some places, been torn up, but it was promptly repaired
by the soldiers, and by the 25th an unobstructed route was
opened through Annapolis to Washington.
Horace Greeley, in his book called " The American Conflict,"
denounces with characteristic vehemence and severity of lan-
guage the proceedings of the city authorities. He scouts
"the demands" of the Mayor and his associates, whom he
Armed Neutrality. 77
designates as " Messrs. Brown & Co." He insists that prac-
tically on the morning of the 20th of April Maryland was a
member of the Southern Confederacy, and that her Governor
spoke and acted the bidding of a cabal of the ablest and most
It is true that the city then, and for days afterwards, was in
an anomalous condition, which may be best described as one of
" armed neutrality " ; but it is not true that in any sense it
was, on the 20th of April, or at any other time, a member of
the Southern Confederacy. On the contrary, while many,
especially among the young and reckless, were doing their
utmost to place it in that position, regardless of consequences,
and would, if they could, have forced the hands of the city
authorities, it was their conduct which prevented such a
catastrophe. Temporizing and delay were necessary. As
soon as passions had time to cool, a strong reaction set in and
the people rapidly divided into two parties one on the side of
the North, and the other on the side of the South; but what-
ever might be their personal or political sympathies, it was
clear to all who had not lost their reason that Maryland,
which lay open from the North by both land and sea, would
be kept in the Union for the sake of the national capital, even
if it required the united power of the nation to accomplish
the object. The telegraph wires on the lines leading to the
North had been cut, and ibr some days the city was without
regular telegraphic connection. For a longer time the mails
were interrupted and travel was stopped. The buoys in
the harbor were temporarily removed. The business in-
terests of the city of course suffered under these interrup-
tions, and would be paralyzed if such isolation were to con-
tinue, and the merchants soon began to demand that the
channels of trade should be reopened to the north and east.
78 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
The immediate duty of the city authorities was to keep the
peace and protect the city, and, without going into details or
discussing the conduct of individuals, I shall leave others to
speak of the manner in which it was performed.
Colonel Scharf, in his " History of Maryland," Volume III,
p. 415, sums up the matter as follows : "In such a period of
intense excitement, many foolish and unnecessary acts were
undoubtedly done by persons in* the employment of the city,
as well as by private individuals, but it is undoubtedly true
that the Mayor and board of police commissioners were in-
flexibly determined to resist all attempts to force the city
into secession or into acts of hostility to the Federal GoyX
eminent, and that they successfully accomplished their purpose.
If they had been otherwise disposed, they could easily have
effected their object."
SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. REPORT OF THE
BO ABD OF POLICE. SUPPRESSION OF THE FLAGS. OST THE
5TH OF MAY, GENERAL BUTLER TAKES POSITION SEVEN
MILES FROM BALTIMORE. ON THE 1&TH OF MAY, HE
ENTERS BALTIMORE AND FORTIFIES FEDERAL HILL. THE
GHERAL ASSEMBLY WILL TAKE NO STEPS TOWARDS SECES-
SION. MANY YOUNG MEN JOIN THE ARMY OF THE CON-
On the 22d of April, Governor Hicks convened the Gen-
eral Assembly of the State, to meet in special session at
Annapolis on the 26th, to deliberate and consider of the con-
dition of the State, and to take such measures as in their
wisdom they might deem fit to maintain peace and order and
security within its limits.
On the 24th of April, " in consequence of the extraordinary
state of affairs/' Governor Hicks changed the meeting of
the Assembly to Frederick. The candidates for the House
of Delegates for the city of Baltimore, who had been returned
as elected to the General Assembly in 1859, had been refused
their seats, as previously stated, and a new election in the
city had therefore become necessary to fill the vacancy.
A special election for that purpose was accordingly held in
the city on the 24th instant. Only a States Eights ticket was
presented, for which nine thousand two hundred and forty-
four votes were cast. The candidates elected were : John C.
Brune, Ross Winans, Henry M. "Warfield, J. Hanson
Thomas, T. Parkin Scott, H. M. Mbrfit, S. Teackle Wallis,
80 Baltimore and the 19tfi of April, 1861.
Charles H. Pitts, William G. Harrison and Lawrence Bangs-
ton, well-known and respected citizens, and the majority of
them nominated because of their known conservatism and
declared opposition to violent measures.
This General Assembly, which contained men of unusual
weight and force of character, will ever remain memorable in
Maryland for the courage and ability with which it main-
tained the constitutional rights of the State.
On the 3d of May, the board of police made a report of its
proceedings to the Legislature of the State, signed by Charles
Howard, President. After speaking of the disabling of the
railroads, it concludes as follows :
" The absolute necessity of the measures thus determined upon by the
Governor, Mayor and Police Board, is fully illustrated by the fact that
early on Sunday morning reliable information reached the city of the
presence of a large body of Pennsylvania troops, amounting to about twenty-
four hundred men, who had reached Ashland, near Cockeysville, by the
way of the Northern Central Railroad, and was stopped in their progress
towards Baltimore by the partial destruction of the Ashland bridge.
Every intelligent citizen at all acquainted with the state of fee] ing then
existing, must be satisfied that if these troops had attempted to march
through the city, an immense loss of life would have ensued in the conflict
which would necessarily have taken place. The bitter feelings already
engendered would have been intensely increased by such a conflict ; all
attempts at conciliation would have been vain, and terrible destruction
would have been the consequence, if, as is certain, other bodies of troops
had insisted on. forcing their way through the city.
" The tone of the whole Northern press and the mass of the population
was violent in the extreme. Incursions upon our city were daily threatened ,
not only by troops in the service of the Federal Government, but by the
vilest and most reckless desperadoes, acting independently, and, as they
threatened, in despite of the Government, backed by well-known influential
citizens, and sworn to the commission of all kinds of excesses. In short, every
possible effort was made to alarm this community. In this condition of things
the Board felt it to be their solemn duty to continue the organization which
had already been commenced, for the purpose of assuring the people of
Report of the Police Board. 81
Baltimore that no effort would be spared to protect all within its borders, to
the extent of their ability. All the means employed were devoted to this
end, and with no view of producing a collision with the General Govern-
ment, which the Board were particularly anxious to avoid, and an arrange-
ment was happily effected by the Mayor with the General Government that
no troops should be passed through the city. As an evidence of the
determination of the Board to prevent such collision, a sufficient guard
was sent in the neighborhood of Fort McHenry several nights to arrest all
parties who might be engaged in a threatened attack upon it, and a steam-
tug was employed, properly manned, to prevent any hostile demonstration
upon the receiving-ship AllegJiany, lying at anchor in the harbor, of all
which the United States officers in command were duly notified.
" Property of various descriptions belonging to the Government and
individuals was taken possession of by the police force with a view to its
security. The best care has been taken of it. Every effort has been made
to discover the rightful owners, and a portion of it has already been for-
warded to order. Arrangements have been made with the Government
agents satisfactory to them for the portion belonging to it, and the balance
is held subject to the order of its owners.
" Amidst all the excitement and confusion which has since prevailed,
the Board take great pleasure in stating that the good order and peace of
the city have been preserved to an extraordinary degree. Indeed, to
judge from the accounts given by the press of other cities of what has been
the state of things in their own communities, Baltimore, during the whole
of the past week and up to this date, will compare favorably, as to the
protection which persons and property have enjoyed, with any other large
city in the United States."
Much has heen said in regard to the suppression of the
national flag in Baltimore during the disturbances, and it is
proper that the fects should here be stated.
General Bobinson, in his description of the occurrences
which took place after the 19th of April, says that meetings
were held under the flag of the State of Maryland, at which
the speeches were inflammatory secession harangues, and that
the national flag disappeared, and no man dared to display
it. Whether or not this statement exactly represents the
S2 Baltimore and tlie 19ft of April, 1861.
condition of things, it at least approximates it, and on the
26th of April, an order was issued by the board of police
reciting that the peace of the city was likely to be disturbed
by the display of various flags, and directing that no flag of
any description should be raised or carried through the
streets. On April 29th, the city council passed an ordinance,
signed by the Mayor, authorizing him, when in his opinion
the peace of the city required it, to prohibit by proclamation
for a limited period, to be designated by him, the public dis-
play of all flags or banners in the city of Baltimore, except
on buildings or vessels occupied or employed by the Govern-
ment of the United States. On the same day I, in pursu-
ance of the ordinance, issued a proclamation prohibiting the
display of flags for thirty days, with the exception stated in
the ordinance, and on the 10th of May, when I was satisfied
that all danger was over, I issued a proclamation Removing
the prohibition. The only violation of the order which came
tinder my notice during the period of suppression was on the
part of a military company which had the Maryland flag fly-
ing at its headquarters, on Lexington street near the City Hall.
On my directing this flag to be taken down, the request
was at once complied with.
General Robinson says that "the first demonstration of
returning loyalty was on the 28th day of April, when a sail-
ing vessel came down the river crowded with men, and
covered from stem to stern with national flags. She sailed
past the fort, cheered and saluted our flag, which was dipped
in return, after which she returned to the city." He then
adds : " The tide had turned. Union men avowed themselves,
the stars and stripes were again unfurled, and order was
restored. Although after this time arrests were made of per-
sons conspicuous for disloyalty, the return to reason was
General Butler. 83
almost as sudden as the outbreak of rebellion. The railroads
were repaired, trains ran regularly, and troops poured into
"Washington without hindrance or opposition of any sort.
Thousands of men volunteered for the Union Army. Four
regiments of Maryland troops afterwards served with me,
and constituted the Third Brigade of my division. They
fought gallantly the battles of the Union, and no braver
soldiers ever marched under the flag."
The tide indeed soon turned, but not quite so rapidly as
this statement seems to indicate. On the 5th of May, General
Butler, with two regiments and a battery of artillery, came
from Washington and took possession of the Belay House on
the Baltimore and Ohio Eailroad at the junction of the
Washington branch, about seven miles from Baltimore, and
fortified the position. One of his first proceedings was highly
characteristic. He issued a special order declaring that he
had found well-authenticated evidence that one of his soldiers
had " been poisoned by means of strychnine administered in
the food brought into the camp," and he warned the people of
Maryland that he could "put an agent, with a word, into
every household armed with this terrible weapon." This
statement sent a thrill of horror through the North, and the
accompanying threat of course excited the indignation and
disgust of our people. The case was carefully examined by the
city physician, and it turned out that the man had an ordi-
nary attack of cholera morbus, the consequence of imprudent
diet and camp life, but the General never thought, proper to
correct the slander.
On the evening of the llth of May, General Butler being
then at Annapolis, I received a note from Edward G. Parker,
his aide-de-camp, stating that he had received intimations
from many sources that an attack by the Baltimore roughs
84 Baltimore and tiie 19th of April, 1861.
was intended that night ; that these rumors had been con-
firmed by a gentleman from Baltimore, who gave his name
and residence ; that the attack would be made by more than
a thousand men, every one sworn to kill a man } that they
were coming in wagons, on horses and on foot, and that a
considerable force from the west, probably the Point of
Bocks in Maryland, was also expected, and I was requested
to guard every avenue from the city, so as to prevent the
Baltimore rioters from leaving town.
Out of respect to the source from which the application
came, I immediately sent for the marshal of police, and
requested him to throw out bodies of his men so as to guard
every avenue leading to the Relay House. No enemy, how-
ever, appeared. The threatened attack proved to be merely
a groundless alarm, as I knew from the beginning it was.
On the night of the 13th of May, when the city was as
peaceful as it is to-day, General Butler, in the midst of a
thunderstorm of unusual violence, entered Baltimore and
took possession of Federal Hill, which overlooks the harbor
and commands the city, and which he immediately proceeded
to fortify. There was nobody to oppose him, and nobody
thought of doing so; but, for this exploit, which he regarded
as the capture of Baltimore, he was made a Major-General.
He immediately issued a proclamation, as if he were in a
conquered city subject to military law.
Meantime, on the 26th of April, the General Assembly of
the State had met at Frederick. "As soon as the General
Assembly met" (Schaxf's History of Maryland, Vol. Ill,
p. 444), "the Hon. James M. Mason, formerly United States
Senator from Virginia, waited on it as commissioner from that
State, authorized to negotiate a treaty of alliance offensive
and defensive with Maryland on her behalf." This proposi-
Attitude of the General Assembly. 85
tion met "with no acceptance. On the 27th, the Senate, by
a unanimous vote, issued an address for the purpose of allay-
ing the apprehensions of the people, declaring that it had no
constitutional authority to take any action leading to seces-
sion, and on the next day the House of Delegates, by a vote
of 53 to 12, made a similar declaration. Early in May, the
General Assembly, by a vote in the House of 43 to 12, and
in the Senate of 11 to 3, passed a series of resolutions pro-
claiming its position in the existing crisis.
The resolutions protested against the war as unjust and
unconstitutional, and announced a determination to take no
part in its prosecution. They expressed a desire for the im-
mediate recognition of the Confederate States; and while
they protested against the military occupation of the State,
and the arbitrary restrictions and illegalities with which it
was attended, they called on all good citizens to abstain from
violent and unlawful interference with the troops, and
patiently and peacefully to leave to time and reason the
ultimate and certain re-establishment and vindication of the
right; and they declared it to be at that time inexpedient to
call a Sovereign Convention of the State, or to take any
measures for the immediate organization or arming of the
After it became plain that no movement would be made
towards secession, a large number of young men, including
not a few of the flower of the State, and representing largely
the more wealthy and prominent families, escaped across the
border and entered the ranks of the Confederacy. The
number has been estimated at as many as twenty thousand,
but this, perhaps, is too large a figure, and there are no
means of ascertaining the truth. The muster-rolls have
perished with the Confederacy. The great body of those
86 Baltimore and ffie 19$, of April, 1861.
who sympathized with the South had no disposition to take
arms against the Union so long as Maryland remained a
member of it. This was subsequently proved by their
failure to enlist in the Southern armies on the different
occasions in 1862, 1863 and 1864 when they crossed the
Potomac and transferred the seat of war to Maryland and
Pennsylvania, under the command twice of General Lee and
once of General Early.
The first of these campaigns ended in the bloody battle of
Antietam. The Maryland men, as a tribute to their good
conduct, were placed at the head of the army, and crossed the
river with enthusiasm, the band playing and the soldiers
singing "My Maryland." Great was their disappointment
that the recruits did not even suffice to fill the gaps in their
CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY AND THE WJilT OF HABEAS COKPTTS.
A. TJNION CONVENTION. CONSEQUENCE OF THE SUS-
PENSION OF THE WRIT. INCIDENTS OF THE WAB. THE
WOMEN IN THE WAB.
The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, by order of
the President, without the sanction of an Act of Congress,
which had not then been given, was one of the memorable
events of the war.
On the 4th of May, 1861, Judge Giles, of the United States
District Court of Maryland, issued a writ of habeas corpus to
Major Morris, then in command of Fort McHenry, to dis-
charge a soldier who was under age. Major Morris refused
to obey the writ.
On the 14th of May the General Assembly adjourned, and
Mr. Ross Winans, of Baltimore, a member of the House of
Delegates, while returning to his home, was arrested by
General Butler on a charge of high treason. He was con-
veyed to Annapolis, and subsequently to Fort McHenry, and
was soon afterwards released.
A case of the highest importance next followed. On the
25th of May, Mr. John Merryman, of Baltimore County, was
arrested by order of General Keim, of Pennsylvania, and con-
fined in Fort McHenry. The next day (Sunday, May 26th)
his counsel, Messrs. George M. Gill and George H. Williams,
presented a petition for the writ of habeas corpus to Chief
Justice Taney, who issued the writ immediately, directed
88 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
to General Cadwallader, then in command in Maryland,
ordering him to produce the body of Merryman in. court on
the following day (Monday, May 27th). On that day Colonel
Lee, his aide-de-camp, came into court with a letter from
General Cadwallader, directed to the Chief Justice, stating
that Mr. Merryman had been arrested on charges of high
treason, and that he (the General) was authorized by the
President of the United States in such cases to suspend the
writ of habeas corpus for the public safety. Judge Taney
asked Colonel Lee if he had brought with him the body of
John Merryman. Colonel Lee replied that he had no instruc-
tions except to deliver the letter.
Chief Justice. The commanding officer, then, declines to obey the writ ?
Colonel Lee. After making that communication my duty is ended, and
I have no further power (rising and retiring).
Chief Justice. The Court orders an attachment to issue against George
Cadwallader for disobedience to the high writ of the Court, returnable at
twelve o'clock to-morrow.
The order was accordingly issued as directed.
A startling issue was thus presented. The venerable Chief
Justice had come from Washington to Baltimore for the pur-
pose of issuing a writ of habeas corpus, and the President had
thereupon authorized the commander of the fort to hold the
prisoner and disregard the writ.
A more important occasion could hardly have occurred.
Where did the President of the United States acquire such a
power ? Was it true that a citizen held his liberty subject
to the arbitrary will of any man? In what part of the
Constitution could sueh a power be found? Why had it
never been discovered before? What precedent existed for
such an act ?
Judge Taney was greatly venerated in Baltimore, where
Chief Justice Taney. 89
he had formerly lived. The case created a profound sensa-
On the next morning the Chief Justice, leaning on the arm
of his grandson, walked slowly through the crowd which had
gathered in front of the court-house, and the crowd silently
and with lifted hats opened the way for him to pass.
Eoger B. Taney was one of the most self-controlled and
courageous of judges. He took his seat with his usual quiet
dignity. He called the case of John Merryman and asked
the marshal for his return to the writ of attachment. The
return stated that he had gone to Fort McHenry for the pur-
pose of serving the writ on General Cadwallader ; that he
had sent in his name at the outer gate; that the messenger-
had returned with the reply that there was no answer to send ;.
that he was not permitted to enter the gate, and, therefore,
could not serve the writ, as he was commanded to do.
The Chief Justice then read from his manuscripts follows i.
I ordered the attachment of yesterday because upon the face of the
return the detention of the prisoner was unlawful upon two grounds:
1st. The President, under the Constitution and laws of the United States,
cannot suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, nor authorize
any military officer to do so.
3d. A military officer has no right to arrest and detain a person not
subject to the rules and articles of war, for an offense against the laws of
the United States, except in aid of the judicial authority and subject to its
control ; and if the party is arrested by the military, it is the duty of the
officer to deliver him over immediately to the civil authority, to be dealt
with according to law.
I forbore yesterday to state the provisions of the Constitution of the-
United States which make these principles the fundamental law of the
Union, because an oral statement might be misunderstood in some portions,
of it, and I shall therefore put my opinion in writing, and file it in the*
office of the clerk of this courti in the course of this week.
The Chief Justice then orally remarked:
90 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
la relation to the present return, it is proper to say that of course the
marshal has legally the power to summon the posse comiiatus to seize and
bring into court the party named in the attachment ; but it is apparent he
will he resisted in the discharge of that duty by a force notoriously superior
to the jposse, and, this being the case, such a proceeding can result in no
good, and is useless. I will not, therefore, require the marshal to perform
this duty. If, however, General Cadwallader were before me, I should
impose on him the punishment which it is my province to inflict that of
fine and imprisonment. I shall merely say, to-day, that-I shall reduce to
writing the reasons under which 1 have acted, and which have led me to
the conclusions expressed in my opinion, and shall direct the clerk to for-
ward them with these proceedings to the President, so that he may dis-
charge his constitutional duty "to take care that the laws are faithfully
It is due to my readers that they should have an opportu-
nity of reading this opinion, and it is accordingly inserted in
After the court had adjourned, -I went up to the bench and
thanked Judge Taney for thus upholding, in its integrity,
the writ of habeas corpus. He replied, " Mr. Brown, I am
an old man, a very old man " (he had completed his eighty-
fourth year), " but perhaps I was preserved for this occasion."
I replied, "Sir, I thank God that you were."
He then told me that he knew that his own imprisonment
had been a matter of consultation, but that the danger had
passed, and he warned me, from information he had received,
that my time would come.
The charges against Merryman were discovered to be un-
founded and he was soon discharged by military authority.
The nation is now tired of war, and rests in the enjoyment
of a harmony which has not been equalled since the days of
James Monroe. "When Judge Taney rendered this decision
the Constitution was only seventy-two years old twelve years
younger than himself. It is now less than one hundred years
Chief Justice Taney. 91
old a short period in a nation's life and yet during that
period there have been serious commotions two foreign
wars and a civil war. In the future, as in the past, offenses
will come, and hostile parties and factions will arise, and the
men who wield power will, if they dare, shut up in fort or
prison, without reach of relief, those whom they regard as
dangerous enemies. When that period arrives, then will
those who wisely love their country thank the great Chief
Justice, as I did, for his unflinching defense of habeas corpus,
the supreme writ of right, and the corner-stone of personal
liberty among all English-speaking people.
In the Life of Benjamin R. Curtis, Vol. I, p. 240, his
biographer says, speaking of Chief Justice Taney, with refer-
ence to the case of Merryman, " If he had never done anything
else that was high, heroic* and important, his noble vindica-
tion of the writ of habeas corpus and the dignity and authority
of his office against a rash minister of State, who, in the pride
of a fancied executive power, came near to the commission of
a great crime, will command the admiration and gratitude of
every lover of constitutional liberty so long as our institutions
shall endure." The crime referred to was the intended im-
prisonment of the Chief Justice.
Although this crime was not committed, a criminal prece-
dent had been set and was ruthlessly followed. "My lord/'
said Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons, "I can touch a bell on my
right hand and order the imprisonment of a citizen of Ohio ;
I can touch a bell again and order the imprisonment of a
citizen of New York; and no power on earth, except that of
the President, can release them. Can the Queen of England
do so much V 9 When such a power is wielded by any man,
or set of men, nothing is left to protect the liberty of the
92 Baltimore and the 19$ of April, 1861.
On the 24th of May, a Union Convention, consisting of
fourteen counties of the State, including the city of Baltimore,
and leaving eight unrepresented, met in the city. The
counties not represented were Washington, Montgomery,
Prince George, Charles, St. Mary's, Dorchester, Somerset,
and Worcester. The number of members does not appear to
have been large, but it included the names of gentlemen
well known and highly respected. The Convention adopted
Resolutions which declared, among other things, that the
revolution on the part of eleven States was without excuse or
palliation, and that the redress of actual or supposed wrongs
in connection with the slavery question formed no part of
their views or purposes ; that the people of this State were
unalterably determined to defend the Government of the
United States, and would support the Government in all
legal and constitutional measures which might be necessary
to resist the revolutionists ; that the intimations made by the
H&ajority of the Legislature at its late session that the people
were humiliated or subjugated by the action of the Govern-
ment were gratuitous insults to that people ; that the dignity
of the State of Maryland, involved in a precise, persistent
and effective recognition of all her rights, privileges and
immunities under the Constitution of the United States, will
be vindicated at all times and under all circumstances by
those of her sons who are sincere in their fealty to her and
the Government of the Union of which she is part, and to
popular constitutional liberty; that while they concurred
with the present Executive of the United States that the
unity and integrity of the National Union must be preserved,
their view of the nature and true principles of the Constitu-
tion, of the powers which it confers, and of the duties which
it enjoins, and the rights which it secures, as it relates to and
Suspension of Habeas Corpus. 93
affects the question of slavery in many of the essential bear-
ings, is directly opposed to the views of the Executive ', that
they are fixed in their conviction, amongst others, that a just
comprehension of the true principles of the Constitution
forbid utterly the formation of political parties on the foun-
dation of the slavery question, and that the Union men will
oppose to the utmost of their ability all attempts of the
Federal Executive to commingle in any manner its peculiar
views on the slavery question with that of maintaining the
just powers of the Government.
These resolutions axe important as showing the stand
taken by a large portion of the Union party of the State in
regard to any interference, as the result of the war or other-
wise, by the General Government with the provisions of the
Constitution with regard to slavery.
After the writ of habeas corpus had been thus suspended,
martial law, as a consequence, rapidly became all-powerful,
and it continued in force during the war. That law is by
Judge Black, in his argument before the Supreme Court in
the case of ex parte Milligan, 1 shown to be simply the rule of
irresponsible force. Law becomes helpless before it. Inter
arma silent leges.
On May 25, 1862, Judge Carmichael, an honored magistrate,
while sitting in his court in Easton, was, by the provost
marshal and his deputies, assisted by a body of military sent
from Baltimore, beaten, and dragged bleeding from the bench,
and then imprisoned, because he had on a previous occasion
delivered a charge to the grand jury directing them to inquire
into certain illegal acts and to indict the offenders. His
imprisonment in Forts McHenry, Lafayette, and Delaware,
lasted more than six months. On December 4, 1862, he was
1 4 Wallace Sup. Court B. 2.
94 Baltimore and the 19& of April, 1861.
unconditionally released, no trial having been granted him,
nor any charges made against him. On June 28, 1862, Judge
Bartol, of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, was arrested
and confined in Fort McHenry. He was released after a few
days, without any charge being preferred against him, or any
-Spies and informers abounded. A rigid supervision was
established. Disloyalty, so called, of any kind was a punish-
able offense. Eebel colors, the red and white, were pro-
hibited. They were not allowed to appear in shop-windows
or on children's garments, or anywhere that might offend the
Union sentiment. If a newspaper promulgated disloyal senti-
ments, the paper was suppressed and the editor imprisoned.
If a clergyman was disloyal in prayer or sermon, or if he
failed to utter a prescribed prayer, he was liable to be treated
in the same manner, and was sometimes so treated. A learned
and eloquent Lutheran clergyman came to me for advice
because he had been summoned before the provost marshal
for saying that a nation which incurred a heavy debt in the
prosecution of war laid violent hands on the harvests of the
future ; but his offense was condoned, because it appeared that
he had referred to the " Thirty Years' War " and had made no
direct reference to the debt of the United States, and perhaps
for a better reason that he had strong Eepublican friends
among his congregation.
If horses and fodder, fences and timber, or houses and land,
were taken for the use of the Army, the owner was not en-
titled to compensation unless he could prove that he was a
loyal man ; and the proof was required to be furnished through
some well-known loyal* person, who, of course, was usually
paid for his services. Very soon no one was allowed to vote
unless he was a loyal man, and soldiers at the polls assisted
in settling the question of loyalty.
Incidents of the War. 95
Nearly all who approved of the war regarded these things
as an inevitable military necessity ; but those who disapproved
deeply resented them as unwarrantable violations of sacred
constitutional rights. The consequence was that friendships
were dissolved, the ties of blood severed, and an invisible but
well-understood line divided the people. The bitterness and
even the common mention of these acts have long since
ceased, but the tradition survives and still continues to be a
factor, silent, but not without influence, in the politics of the
History repeats itself. There were deeds done on both
sides which bring to mind the wars of England and Scotland
and the border strife between those countries. There were
Sittings to and fro, and adventures and hairbreadth escapes
innumerable. Soldiers returned to visit their homes at the
risk of their necks. Contraband of every description, and
letters and newspapers, found their way across the border.
The military lines were long and tortuous, and vulnerable
points were not hard to find, and trusty carriers were ready
to go anywhere for the love of adventure or the love of gain.
The women were as deeply interested as the men, and
were less apprehensive of personal consequences. In dif-
ferent parts of the city, not excepting its stateliest square,
where stands the marble column from which the fether of
his country looked down, sadly as it were, on a divided
people, there might have been found, by the initiated,
groups of women who, with swift and skillful fingers, were
fashioning and making garments strangely various in shape
and kind some for Northern prisons where captives were
confined, some for destitute homes beyond the Southern
border, in which only women and children were left, and
some for Southern camps where ragged soldiers were waiting
96 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861.
to be clad. The work was carried on not without its risks ;
but little cared the workers for that. Perhaps the sensation
of danger itself, and a spirit of resistance to an authority
which they refused to recognize, gave zest to their toil ; nor
did they always think it necessary to inform the good man
of the house in which they were assembled either of their
presence or of what was going on beneath his roof.
The women who stood by the cause of the Union were not
compelled to hide their charitable deeds from the light of day.
No need for them to feed and clothe the soldiers of the Union,
whose wants were amply supplied by a bountiful Govern-
ment ; but with untiring zeal they visited the military hospi-
tals on missions of mercy, and when the bloody fields of
Antietam and Gettysburg were fought, both they and their
Southern sisters hastened, though not with a common pur-
pose, to the aid of the wounded and dying, the victims of
civil strife and children of a common country.
GENERAL BASTKS ESf COMMAND. 3ARSHAL KJLFE ARRESTED.
POLICE COMMISSIONERS SUPERSEDED. RESOLUTIONS
PASSED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. POLICE COMMIS-
SIONERS ARRESTED. MEMORIAL ADDRESSED BY THE
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO CONGRESS. GENERAL DIX
IN COMMAND. ARREST OF MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY, THE MAYOR AND OTHERS. RELEASE OF PRIS-
ONERS. COLONEL DIMICK.
On the 10th of June, 1861, Major-General Nathaniel P.
Banks, of Massachusetts, was appointed in the place of
General Cadwallader to the command of the Department of
Annapolis, with headquarters at Baltimore. On the 27th of
June, General Banks arrested Marshal Kane and confined
him in Fort McHenry. He then issued a proclamation
announcing that he had superseded Marshal Kane and the
commissioners of police, and that he had appointed Colonel
John R. Kenly, of the First Regiment of Maryland Volun-
teers, provost marshal, with the aid and assistance of the
subordinate officers of the police department.
The police commissioners, including the mayor, offered no
resistance, but adopted and published a resolution declaring
that, in the opinion of the board, the forcible suspension of
their functions suspended at the same time the active opera-
tion of the police law and put the officers and men off duty
for the present, leaving them subject, however, to the rules
and regulations of the service as to their personal conduct
and deportment, and to the orders which the board might see
98 Baltimore and the \Wi of April, 1861.
fit thereafter to issue, when the present illegal suspension of
their functions should be removed.
The Legislature of Maryland, at its adjourned session
on the 22d of June, passed a series of resolutions declaring
that the unconstitutional and arbitrary proceedings of the
Federal Executive had not been confined to the violation of
the personal rights and liberties of the citizens of Mary-
land, but had been so extended that the property of no
man was safe, the sanctity of no dwelling was respected,
and that the sacredness of private correspondence no longer
existed; that the Senate and House of Delegates of Mary-
land felt it due to her dignity and independence that
history should not record the overthrow of public freedom
for an instant within her borders, without recording likewise
the indignant expression of her resentment and remonstrance,
and they accordingly protested against the oppressive and
tyrannical assertion and exercise of military jurisdiction
within the limits of Maryland over the persons and property
of her citizens by the Government of the United States, and
solemnly declared the same to be subversive of the most
sacred guarantees of the Constitution, and in flagrant violation
of the fundamental and most cherished principles of American
On the first of July, the police commissioners were arrested
and imprisoned by order of General Banks, on the ground,
as he alleged in a proclamation, that the commissioners had
refused to obey his decrees, or to recognize his appointees, and
that they continued to hold the police force for some purpose
not known to the Government.
General Banks does not say what authority he had to
make decrees, or what the decrees were which the commis-
sioners had refused to obey; and as on the 27th of June he
Marshal Kane Arrested. 99
had imprisoned the marshal of police, and had put a provost
marshal in his place, retaining only the subordinate officers
of the police department, and had appointed instead of the
men another body of police, all under the control of the
provost marshal ; and as the commissioners had no right to
discharge the police force established by a law of the State,
and were left with no duties in relation to the police which
they could perform, it is very plain that, whatever motive
General Banks may have had for the arrest and imprisonment
of the commissioners, it is not stated in his proclamation.
One of the commissioners, Charles D. Hinks, was soon
released in consequence of failing health.
On the day of the arrest of the police commissioners the
city was occupied by troops, who in large detachments,
infantry and artillery, took up positions in Monument
Square, Exchange Place, at Camden-street Station and other
points, and they mounted guard and bivouacked in the streets
for more than a week.
On July 18th, the police commissioners presented to Con-
gress a memorial in which they protested very vigorously
against their unlawful arrest and imprisonment.
On the 23d day of July, 1861, the mayor and city council
of Baltimore addressed a memorial to the Senate and House
of Representatives of the United States, in which, after
describing the condition of affairs in Baltimore, they respect-
fully, yet most earnestly, demanded, as matter of right, that
their city might be governed according to the Constitution and
laws of the United States and of the State of Maryland, that
the citizens might be secure in their persons, houses, papers
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures; that
they should not be deprived of life, liberty or property
without due process of law; that the military should render
100 Baltimore and the I9th of April, 1861.
obedience to the civil authority; that the municipal laws
should be respected, the officers released from imprisonment
and restored to the lawful exercise of their functions, and
that the police government established by law should be no
longer impeded by armed force to the injury of peace and
order. It is perhaps needless to add that the memorial met
with no favor.
On the 7th of August, 1861, the Legislature of the State,
in a series of resolutions, denounced these proceedings in all
their parts, pronouncing them, so far as they affected individ-
uals, a gross and unconstitutional abuse of power which
nothing could palliate or excuse, and, in their bearing upon
the authority and constitutional powers and privileges of
the State herself, a revolutionary subversion of the Federal
The Legislature then adjourned, to meet on the 17th of
On the 24th of July, 1861, General Dix had been placed
in command of the Department, with his headquarters in
Baltimore. On that day he wrote from Fort McHenry to the
Assistant Adjutant-General for re-enforcement of the troops
under his command. He said that there ought to be ten
thousand men at Baltimore and Annapolis, and that he could
not venture to respond for the quietude of the .Department
with a smaller number. At Fort McHenry, as told by his
biographer, he exhibited to some ladies of secession pro-
clivities an immense colunabiad, and informed them that it
was pointed to Monument Square, and if there was an up-
rising that this piece would be the first he would fire. But
the guns of Fort McHenry were not sufficient. He built on
the east of the city a very strong work, which he called Fort
Marshall, and he strengthened the earthwork on Federal
Fort Federal HiU. 101
Hill, in the southern part, so that the city lay under the
guns of three powerful forts, with several smaller ones.
Not satisfied with this, on the 15th of September, 1862,
General Dix, after he had been transferred to another
department, wrote to Major-General Halleck, then Com-
mander-in-Chief, advising that the ground on which the
earthwork on Federal Hill had been erected should be pur-
chased at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars, and that it
should be permanently fortified at an additional expense of
$250,000. He was of opinion that although the great body of
the people were, as he described them, eminently distinguished
for their moral virtues, Baltimore had always contained a
mass of inflammable material, which would ignite on the
slightest provocation. He added that "Fort Federal Hill
completely commanded the city, and is capable, from its
proximity to the principal business quarters, of assailing any
one without injury to the others. The hill seems to have
been placed there by Nature as a site for a permanent citadel,
and I beg to suggest whether a neglect to appropriate it to
its obvious design would not be an unpardonable dereliction
These views were perhaps extreme even for a major-general
commanding in Baltimore, especially as by this time the dis-
orderly element which infests all cities had gone over to the
stronger side, and was engaged in the pious work of per-
secuting rebels. General Halleck, even after this solemn
warning, left Federal Hill to the protection of its earthwork.
The opinion which General Dix had of Baltimore ex-
tended, though in a less degree, to a large portion of the
State, and was shared, in part at least, not only by the other
military commanders, but by the Government at Washington.
On the Hth of September, 1861, Simon Cameron, Secre-
102 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
tary of War, wrote the following letter to Major-General
Banks, who was at this time in command of a division in
" WAR DEPARTMENT, September 11, 18C1.
*' General : The passage of any act of secession by the Legislature of
Maryland must be prevented. If necessary, all or any part of the mem-
bers must be arrested. Eaercise your own judgment as to the time and
manner, but do the work effectively."
On the 12th of September, Major-General McClellan,
Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Potomac, wrote a
confidential letter to General Banks reciting that " after full
consultation with the President, Secretary of State, War, etc.,
it has been decided to effect the operation proposed for the
17th." The 17th was the day fixed for the meeting of the
General Assembly, and the operation to be performed was
the arrest of some thirty members of that body, and other
persons besides. Arrangements had been made to have a
Government steamer at Annapolis to receive the prisoners
and convey them to their destination. The plan was to be
arranged with General Dix and Governor Seward, and the
letter closes with leaving this exceedingly important affair to
the tact and discretion of General Banks, and impressing on
him the absolute necessity of secrecy and success.
Accordingly, a number of the most prominent members of
the Legislature, myself, as mayor of Baltimore, and editors
of newspapers, and other citizens, were arrested at midnight.
I was arrested at my country home, near the Relay House
on the Baltimore and Ohio Eailroad, by four policemen and
a guard of soldiers. The soldiers were placed in both front
and rear of the house, while the police rapped violently on
the front door. I had gone to bed, but was still awake, for.
I had some apprehension of danger. I immediately arose,
Arrest of the Mayor and Offiers. 103
and opening my bed-room window, asked the intruders what
they wanted. They replied that they wanted Mayor Brown.
I asked who wanted him, and they answered, the Government
of the United States. I then inquired for their warrant, but
they had none. After a short time spent in preparation I
took leave of my wife and children, and closely guarded,
walked down the high hill on which the house stands to the
foot, where a carriage was waiting for me. The soldiers went
no farther, but I was driven in charge of the police seven
miles to Baltimore and through the city to Fort McHenry,
where to my surprise I found myself a fellow-prisoner in a
company of friends and well-known citizens. We were im-
prisoned for one night in Fort McHenry, next in Fort
Monroe for about two weeks, next in Fort Lafayette for about
six weeks, and finally in Fort TParren. Henry May, mem-
ber of Congress from Baltimore, was arrested at the same
time, but was soon released.
Col. Scharf, in his "History of Maryland/' Volume III,
says : " It was originally intended that they (the prisoners)
should be confined in the fort at the Dry Tortugas, but as
there was no fit steamer in Hampton Roads to make the
voyage, the programme was changed." 1
The apprehension that the Legislature intended to pass an
act of secession, as intimated by Secretary Cameron, was, in
view of the position in which the State was placed, and the
whole condition of afiairs, so absurd that it is difficult to
believe that he seriously entertained it. The blow was no
doubt, however, intended to strike with terror the opponents
of the war, and was one of the effective means resorted to
by the Government to obtain, as it soon did, entire control
of the State.
1 See also the " Chronicles of Baltimore " by the same author.
104 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
As the events of the 19th of April had occurred nearly five
months previously, and I was endeavoring to perform my
duties as mayor, in obedience to law, without giving offense
to either the civil or military authorities of the Government,
the only apparent reason for my arrest grew out of a difficulty
in regard to the payment of the police appointed by General
Banks. In July a law had been passed by Congress appro-
priating one hundred thousand dollars for the purpose of
such payment, but it was plain that a similar expenditure
would not long be tolerated by Congress. In this emergency
an intimation came to me indirectly from Secretary Seward,
through a common acquaintance, that I was expected to pay
the Government police out of the funds appropriated by law
for the city police. I replied that any such payment would
be illegal and was not within my power.
Soon afterwards I received the following letter from Gen-
eral Dix, which I insert, together with the correspondence
which followed :
" HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
" BALTIMORE, MD., September 3, 1861.
" To Hon. GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor of tJie City of Baltimore.
" fSir : Reasons of state, "which I deem imperative, demand that the
payment of compensation to the members of the old city police, who were,
by a resolution of the Board of Police Commissioners, dated the 27th of
June last, declared * off duty,' and whose places were filled in pursuance
of an order of MaJor-General Banks of the same date, should cease. I
therefore direct, by virtue of the authority vested in me as commanding
officer of the military forces of the Fnited States in Baltimore and its
vicinity, that no further payment be made to them*
** Independently of all other considerations, the continued compensation
of a body of men who have been suspended iu their functions by the order
of the Government, is calculated to bring its authority into disrespect ;
and the extraction from the citizens of Baltimore by taxation, in a time of
general depression and embarrassment, of a sum amounting to several
hundred thousand dollars a year for the payment of nominal officials who
Correspondence with General Dix. 105
render it no service, cannot fail by creating widespread dissatisfaction to
disturb the quietude of the city, which I am most anxious to preserve.
* ' I feel assured that the payment would have been voluntarily discontinued
by yourself, as a violation of the principle on which all compensation is
bestowed as a remuneration for an equivalent service actually performed
had you not considered yourself bound by existing laws to make it.
"This order will relieve you from the embarrassment, and I do not
doubt that it will be complied with.
" I am, very respectfully,
" Your obedient servant,
" JOHN A. Dix,
" Major-General Commandwig. 9 *
" MAYOR'S OFFICE, CITY HALL,
" BALTIMORE, September 5, 1861.
" Major-General JOHN A. Dix, Baltimore, Md.
"Sir: I was not in town yesterday, and did not receive until this
morning your letter of the 3d inst. ordering that no further payment be
made to the members of the city police.
*' The payments have been made heretofore in pursuance of the laws of
the State, under the advice of the City Counsellor, by the Register, the
Comptroller and myself.
" Without entering into a discussion of the considerations which you
have deemed sufficient to justify this proceeding, I feel it to be my duty
to enter my protest against this interference, by military authority, with
the exercise of powers lawfully committed by the State of Maryland to the
officers of the city corporation ; but it is nevertheless not the intention of
the city authorities to offer resistance to the order which you have issued,
and I shall therefore give public notice to the officers and men of the city
police that no further payments may be expected by them.
" There is an arrearage of pay of two weeks due to the force, and the
men have by the law and rules of the board been prevented from engag-
ing in any other business or occupation. Most of them have families, who
are entirely dependent for support on the pay received.
" I do not understand your order as meaning to prohibit the payment of
this arrearage, and shall therefore proceed to make it, unless prevented
by your further order.
" I am, very respectfully,
" Your obedient servant,
" Gteo. WM. BBOWIT,
" Mayor of Baltimore."
106 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
" HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
" BALTIMORE, MD., September 9, 1861.
" Hon. GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor of the City of Baltimore.
Sfa : Your letter of the 5th. inst. was duly received. I cannot,
without acquiescing in the violation of a principle, assent to the payment
of an arrearage to the members of the old city police, as suggested in the
closing paragraph of your letter.
" It was the intention of my letter to prohibit any payment to them sub-
sequently to the Say on which it was written.
"You will please, therefore, to consider this as the 'further order*
referred to by you.
** I am, very respectfully,
" Your obedient servant,
"JOHN A. T)IX,
' MAYOR'S OFFICE, CITY HALL,
" BALTIMORE, September 11, 1861.
" Major-General JOHN A. Dix, Baltimore.
" Sir ;- I did not come to town yesterday until the afternoon, and then
ascertained that my letters had been sent out to my country residence,
where, on my return last evening, I found yours of the 9th, in reply to
mine of the 5th instant, awaiting me. It had been left at the mayor's
office yesterday morning.
" Before leaving the mayor's office, about three o'clock P. M. on the
9th instant, and not having received any reply from you, I had signed a
check- for the payment of arrears due the police, and the money was on
the same day drawn out of the bank and handed over to the proper officers,
and nearly the entire amount was by them paid to the police force before
the receipt of your letter.
f * The suggestion in your letter as to the ' violation of a principle ' requires
me to add that I recognize in the action of the Government of the United
States in the matter in question nothing but the assertion of superior force.
"Out of regard to the great interests committed to my charge as chief
magistrate of the city, I have yielded to that force, and do not feel it neces-
sary to enter into any discussion of the principles upon which the Govern-
ment sees fit to exercise it. ,
" Very respectfully,
" Your obedient servant,
"GEO. WM. BROWN,
General Dix. 107
The reasons which General Dix assigned for prohibiting
me from paying the arrearages due the police present a
curious combination. First, there were reasons of State;
next, the respect due to the Government; third, his concern
for the taxpayers of Baltimore; fourth, the danger to the
quiet of the city which he apprehended might arise from the
payment ; and, finally, there was a principle which he must
protect from violation, but what that principle was he did
A striking commentary on these reasons was furnished on
the llth of December, 1863, by a decision of the Court of
Appeals of Maryland in the case of the Mayor, etc., of Balti-
more vs. Charles Howard and others, reported in 20th Mary-
land Rep., p. 335. The question was whether the interfer-
ence by the Government of the United States with the Board
of Police and police force established by law in the city of
Baltimore was without authority of law and did in any
manner affect or impair the rights or invalidate the acts of
the board. The court held that, though the board was dis-
placed by a force to which they yielded and could not resist,
their power and rights under their organization were still
preserved, and that they were amenable for any dereliction
of official duty, except in so far as they were excused by un-
controllable events. And the court decided that Mr. Hinks,
one of the police commissioners, whose case was alone before-
the court, was entitled to his salary, which had accrued after
the board was so displaced.
Subsequently, after the close of the war, the Legislature
of the State passed an act for the payment of all arrearages
due to the men of the police subsequent to their displacement
by the Government of the United States and until their dis-
charge by the Government of the State.
108 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
It will be perceived that General Dix delayed replying to
my letter of the 5th of September until the 9th ; that his
reply was not left at the mayor's office until the tenth, and
that in the meantime, on the afternoon of the 9th, after wait-
ing for his reply for four days, I paid the arrears due the
police, as I had good reason to suppose he intended I should.
A friend of mine, a lawyer of Baltimore, and a pronounced
Union man, has, since then, informed me that General Dix
showed him my letter of the 5th before my arrest ; that my
Mend asked him whether he had replied to it, and the General
replied he had not. My friend answered that he thought
a reply was due to me. From all this it does not seem
uncharitable to believe that the purpose of General Dix
was to put me in the false position of appearing to disobey
his order and thus to furnish an excuse for my imprison-
ment. This lasted until the 27th of November, 1862, a short
time after my term of office had expired, when there was a
sudden and unexpected release of all the State prisoners in
Fort Warren, where we were then confined.
On the 26th of November, 1862, Colonel Justin Dimick,
commanding at Fort Warren, received the following tele-
graphic order from the Adjutant-General's Office, Washing-
ton : " The Secretary of War directs that you release all the
Maryland State prisoners, also any other State prisoners that
may be in your custody, and report to this office."
In pursuance of this order, Colonel Dimick on the follow-
ing day released from Fort Warren the following State
prisoners, without imposing any condition upon them what-
ever : Severn Teackle Wallis, Henry M. Warfield, William
G. Harrison, T. Parkin Scott, ex-members of the Maryland
Legislature from Baltimore; George William Brown, ex-
Mayor of Baltimore; Charles Howard and William H*
Release of Prisoners. 109
Gatchefl, ex-Police Commissioners; George P. Kane, ex-
Marshal of Police ; Frank Key Howard, one of the editors
of the Baltimore Exchange; Thomas W. Hall, editor of the
Baltimore South; Robert Hull, merchant, of Baltimore ; Dr.
Charles Macgill, of Hagerstown; William H. Winder, of
Philadelphia ; and B. L. Cutter, of Massachusetts.
General Wool, then in command in Baltimore, issued an
order declaring that thereafter no person should be arrested
within the limits of the Department except by his order, and
in all such cases the charges against the accused party were
to be sworn to before a justice of the peace.
As it was intimated that these gentlemen had entered into
some engagement as the condition of their release, Mr.
Wallis, while in New York on his return home, took occa-
sion to address a letter on the subject to the editor of the
New York World, in which he said : "No condition what-
ever was sought to be imposed, and none would have been
accepted, as the Secretary of War well knew. Speaking of
my fellow-prisoners from Maryland, I have a right to say
that they maintained to the last the principle which they'
asserted from the first namely, that, if charged with crime,
they were entitled to be charged, held and tried in due form
of law and not otherwise ; and thai, in the absence of lawful
accusation and process, it was their right to be discharged
without terms or conditions of any sort, and they would
submit to none."
Many of our fellow-prisoners were from necessity not able
to take this stand. There were no charges against them, but
there weare imperative duties which required their presence
at home, and when the Government at Washington adopted
the policy of offering liberty to those who would consent to
take an oath of allegiance prepared for the occasion, they had
been compelled to accept it.
110 Baltimore and the 19$, of April, 1861.
Before this, in December, 1861, the Government at Wash-
ington, on application of friends, had granted me a parole for
thirty days, that I might attend to some important private
business, and for that time I stayed with kind relatives,
tinder the terms of the parole, in Boston.
The following correspondence, which then took place, will
show the position which I maintained:
" BOSTON, January 4, 1862.
" Marshal KEYS, Boston.
" Sir :I called twice to see you during this week, and in your absence
had an understanding with your deputy that I was to surrender myself to
you this morning, on the expiration of my parole, in time to be conveyed
to Fort Warren, and I have accordingly done so.
" As you have not received any instructions from "Washington in regard
to the course to be pursued with me, I shall consider myself in your custody
until you have had ample time to write to Washington and obtain a reply.
" I desire it, however, to be expressly understood that no further ex-
tension of my parole is asked for, or would be accepted at this time.
" It is my right and my wish to return to Baltimore, to resume the per-
formance of my official and private duties. Respectfully,
"GEO. WM. BEOWN."
" DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
" WASHINGTON, January 6, 1862.
"JOHN S. KEYS, Esq., TJ. S. Marshal, Boston.
*' Sir : Your letter of the 4th inst, relative to George W. Brown, has
" In reply, I have to inform you that, if he desires it, you may extend
his parole to the period of thirty days. If not, you will please recommit
him to Fort Warren and report to this Department.
*' I am, sir, very respectfully,
" Your obedient servant,
" F. W. SEWAED,
" Acting Secretary of State."
*' BOSTON, January 10, 1862.
" Marshal KEYS, Boston.
" Sir ; In my note to you of the 4th mat. I stated that I did not desire
Colonel Dimick. Ill
a renewal of my parole, but that it was my right and wish to return to
Baltimore, to resume the performance of my private and official duties.
" My note was, in substance, as you informed me, forwarded to Hon.
W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, in a letter from you to him.
" In reply to your communication, F. "W. Seward, Acting Secretary of
State, wrote to you under date of the 6th inst, that * you may extend the
parole of George W. Brown if he desires it, but if not, you are directed to
recommit him to Fort Warren.'
" It was hardly necessary to give me the option of an extension of parole
which I had previously declined, but the offer renders it proper for me to
say that the parole was applied for by my friends, to enable me to attend
to important private business, affecting the interests of others as well as
myself ; that the necessities growing out of this particular matter of busi-
ness no longer exist, and that I cannot consistently with my ideas of pro-
priety, by accepting a renewal of the parole, place myself in the position
of seeming to acquiesce in a prolonged and illegal banishment from my
home and duties. Respectfully,
* GKO. WM. BROTO."
On the llth of January, 1862, 1 returned to Fort Warren,
and on the 14th an offer was made to renew and extend my
parole to ninety days upon condition that I would not pass
south of Hudson Kiver. This offer I declined. My term of
office expired on the 12th of November, 1862, and soon
afterwards I was released, as I have just stated.
It is not my purpose to enter into an account of the trials
and hardships of prison-life in the crowded forts in which we
were successively confined under strict and sometimes very
harsh military rule, but it is due to the memory of the com-
mander at Fort Warren, Colonel Justin Dimick, that I
should leave on record the warm feelings of respect and
friendship with which he was regarded by the prisoners who
knew him best, for the unvarying kindness and humanity
with which he performed the difficult and painful duties of
his office. As far as he was permitted to do so, he promoted
the comfort and convenience of all, and after the war was
112 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
over and he had been advanced to the rank of General, he
came to Baltimore as the honored guest of one of his former
prisoners^ and while there received the warm and hearty
greeting of others of his prisoners who still survived.
A PERSONAL CHAPTER.
I have now completed my task; but perhaps it will be
expected that I should clearly define my own position. I
have no objection to do so.
Both from feeling and on principle I had always been
opposed to slavery the result in part of the teaching and
example of my parents, and confirmed by my own reading
and observation. In early manhood I became prominent in
defending the rights of the free colored people of Maryland.
In the year 1846 I was associated with a small number of
persons, of whom the Rev. William 3T. Brand, author of the
"Life of Bishop Whittingham," and myself, are the only
survivors. The other members of the association were Dr.
Richard S. Steuart, for many years President of the Maryland
Hospital for the Insane, and himself a slaveholder ; Gallo-
way Cheston, a merchant and afterwards President of the
Board of Trustees of the Johns Hopkins University;
Frederick W. Brune, my brother-in-law and law-partner ;
and Ramsay McHenry, planter. We were preparing to initiate
a movement tending to a gradual emancipation within the
State, but the growing hostility between the North and the
South rendered the plan wholly impracticable, and it was
My opinions, however, did not lead me into sympathy with
the abolition party. I knew that slavery had existed almost
everywhere in the world, and still existed in some places,
114 Baltimore ami the 19th of April, 1861.
and that, whatever might be its character elsewhere, it was
not in the Southern States " the sum of all villainy." On
the contrary, it had assisted materially in the development
of the race. Nowhere else, I believe, had negro slaves been
so well treated, on the whole, and had advanced so far in
civilization. They had learned the necessity, as well as the
habit, of labor ; the importance to some extent at least of
thrift; the essential distinctions between right and wrong, and
the inevitable difference to the individual between right-doing
and wrong-doing ; the duty of obedience to law ; and not least
some conception, dim though it might be, of the inspiring
teachings of the Christian religion. They had learned also
to cherish a feeling of respect and good will towards the best
portion of the white race, to whom they looked up, and whom
I refused to enlist in a crusade against slavery, not only
on constitutional grounds, but for other reasons. If the
slaves were freed and clothed with the right of sufirage, they
would be incapable of using it properly. If the suffrage were
withheld, they would be subjected to the oppression of the
white race without the protection afforded by their masters.
Thus I could see no prospect of maintaining harmony with-
out a disastrous change in our form of government such as
prevailed after the war, in what is called the period of recon-
struction. If there were entire equality, and an interming-
ling of the two races, it would not, as it seemed to me, be for
the benefit of either. I knew how strong are race preju-
dices, especially when stimulated by competition and interest ;
how cruelly the foreigners, as they were called, had been
treated by the people in California, and the Indians by our
people everywhere; ajid how, in my own city, citizens were
for years ruthlessly deprived by the Know-Nothing party
A Pwsonal Chapter. 115
of the right of suffrage, some because they were of foreign
birth, and some because they were Catholics. The prob-
lem of slavery was to me a Gordian knot which I knew
not how to untie, and which I dared not attempt to cut with
the sword. Such a severance involved the horrors of civil
war, with the wickedness and demoralization which were
sure to follow.
I was deeply attached to the Union from a feeling imbibed
in early childhood and constantly strengthened by knowledge
and personal experience* I did not believe in secession as a
constitutional right, and in Maryland there was no sufficient
ground for revolution. It was clearly for her interest to
remain in the Union and to free her slaves. An attempt to
secede or to revolt would have been an act of folly which I
deprecated, although I did believe that she, in common with
the rest of the South, had constitutional rights in regard to
slavery which the North was not willing to respect.
It was my opinion that the Confederacy would prove to be
a rope of sand. I thought that the seceding States should have
been allowed to depart in peace, as General Scott advised, and
I believed that afterwards the necessities of the situation and
their own interest would induce them to return, severally, per-
haps, to the old Union, but with slavery peacefully abolished;
for, in the nature of things, I knew that slavery could not
Whether or not my opinions were sound and iny hopes well
founded, is now a matter of little importance, even to myself,
but they were at least sincere and were not concealed.
There can be no true union in a Republic unless the parts
are held together by a feeling of common interest, and also of
That there is a common interest no reasonable person can
116 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
doubt ; but this is not sufficient ; and, happily, there is a solid
basis for mutual respect also.
I have already stated the grounds on which, from their
point of view, the Southern people were justified in their
revolt, and even in the midst of the war I recognized what
the South is gradually coming to recognize that the grounds
on which the Northern people waged war love of the Union
and hatred of slavery were also entitled to respect.
I believe that the results achieved namely, the preserva-
tion of the Union and the abolition of slavery are worth all
they have cost.
And yet I feel that I am living in a different land from
that in which I was born, and under a different Constitution,
and that new perils have arisen sufficient to cause great
anxiety. Some of these are the consequences of the war, and
some are due to other- causes. But every generation must
encounter its own trials, and should extract benefit from them
if it can. The grave problems growing out of emancipation
seem to have found a solution in an improving education of
the whole people. Perhaps education is the true means of
escape from the other perils to which I have alluded.
Let me state them as they appear to me to exist.
Vast fortunes, which astonish the world, have suddenly
been acquired, very many by methods of more than doubtful
honesty, while the fortunes themselves are so used as to benefit
neither the possessors nor the country.
Eepublican simplicity has ceased to be a reality, except
where it exists as a survival in rural districts, and is hardly
now mentioned even as a phrase. It has been superseded by
republican luxury and ostentation. The mass of the people,
who cannot afford to indulge in either, are sorely tempted to
A Personal Chapter. 117
The individual man does not rely, as he formerly did, on
his own strength and manhood. Organization for a common
purpose is resorted to wherever organization is possible.
Combinations of capital or of labor, ruled by a few individ-
uals, bestride the land with immense power both for good and
evil. In these combinations the individual counts for little,
and is but little concerned about his own moral responsibility.
"When De Tocqueville, in 1838, wrote his remarkable
book on Democracy in America, he expressed his surprise to
observe how every public question was submitted to the
decision of the people, and that, when the people had decided,
the question was settled. Now politicians care little about
the opinions of the people, because the people care little about
opinions. Bosses have come into existence to ply their vile
trade of office-brokerage. Rings are formed in which the
bosses are masters and the voters their henchmen. Formerly
decent people could not be bought either with money or offices.
Political parties have always some honest foundation, but
rings are factions like those of Eome in her decline, having
no foundation but public plunder.
Communism, socialism, and labor strikes have taken the
place of slavery agitation. Many people have come to believe
that this is a paternal Government from which they have a
right to ask for favors, and not a Republic in which all are
equal. Hence States, cities, corporations, individuals, and
especially certain favored classes, have no scruple in getting
money somehow or other, directly or indirectly, out of the
purse of the Nation, as if the Nation had either purse or
property which does not belong to the people, for the benefit
of the whole people, without favor or partiality towards any.
In many ways there is a dangerous tendency towards the
centralization of power in the National Government, with
little opposition on the part of the people.
118 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
Paper money is held by the Supreme Court to be a lawful
substitute for gold and silver coin, partly on the ground that
this is the prerogative of European governments. 1 This is
strange constitutional doctrine to those who were brought up
in the school of Marshall, Story, and Chancellor Kent.
The administration of cities has grown more and more
extravagant and corrupt, thus leading to the creation of
immense debts which oppress the people and threaten to
The national Congress, instead of faithfully administering
its trust, has become reckless and wasteful of the public money.
But, notwithstanding all this, I rejoice to believe that there
is a reserve of power in the American people which has never
yet failed to redress great wrongs when they have come to be
fully recognized and understood.
A striking instance of this is to be found in the temper-
ance movement, which, extreme as it may be in some respects,
shows that the conscience of the entire country is aroused on
a subject of vast difficulty and importance.
And other auspicious signs exist, the chief of which I think
are that a new zeal is manifested in the cause of education ;
bhat people of all creeds come together as they never did
before to help in good works ; that an independent press,
>ent on enlightening, not deceiving, the people, is making
tself heard and respected ; and that younger men, who rep-
i esent the best hopes and aspirations of the time, are pressing
brward to take the k place of the politicians of a different
chool, who represent chiefly their own selfish interests, or else
period of hate and discord which has passed away forever.
These considerations give me hope and confidence in the
Duntry as it exists to-day.
1 Legal Tender Case, Vol. 110 U. S. Reports, p. 421.
A Personal Chapter. 119
Baltimore is the place of raj birth, of my home, and of my
affections. No one could be bound to his native city by ties
stronger than mine. Perhaps, in view of the incidents of the
past, as detailed in this volume, I may be permitted to
express to the good people of Baltimore my sincere and pro-
found gratitude for the generous and unsolicited confidence
which, on different occasions, they have reposed in me, and
for their good will and kind feeling, which have never been
withdrawn during the years, now not a few, which I have
spent in their service.
The following account of the alleged conspiracy to assassi-
nate Abraham Lincoln on his journey to Baltimore is taken
from the " Life of Abraham Lincoln," by Ward H. Lamon,
pp. 511-526 :
"Whilst Mr. Lincoln, in the midst of his suite and
attendants, was being borne in triumph through the streets
of Philadelphia, and a countless multitude of people were
shouting themselves hoarse, and jostling and crushing each
other around his carriage-wheels, Mr. Felton, the President
of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railway, was
engaged with a private detective discussing the details of an
alleged conspiracy to murder him at Baltimore. Some
months before, Mr. Felton, apprehending danger to the
bridges along his line, had taken this man into his pay and
sent him to Baltimore to spy out and report any plot that
might be found for their destruction. Taking with him a
couple of other men and a woman, the detective went about
his business with the zeal which necessarily marks his
peculiar profession. He set up as a stock-broker, under an
assumed name, opened an office, and became a vehement
secessionist. His agents were instructed to act with the
duplicity which such men generally use; to be rabid on the
subject of ' Southern Rights '; to suggest all manner of crimes
in vindication of them ; and if, by these arts, corresponding
sentiments should be elicited from their victims, the 'job'
might be considered as prospering. Of course they readily
Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 121
found out what everybody else knew that Maryland was in
a state of great alarm; that her people were forming military
associations, and that Governor Hicks was doing his utmost
to furnish them with arms, on condition that the arms, in
case of need, should be turned against the Federal Govern-
ment. Whether they detected any plan to burn bridges or
not, the chief detective does not relate ; but it appears that
he soon deserted that inquiry and got, or pretended to get,
upon a scent that promised a heavier reward. Being in-
tensely ambitious to shine in the professional way, and some-
thing of a politician besides, it struck him that it would be a
particularly fine thing to discover a dreadful plot to assassinate
the President-elect, and he discovered it accordingly. It
was easy to get that far; to furnish tangible proofs of an
imaginary conspiracy was a more difficult matter. But
Baltimore was seething with political excitement ; numerous
strangers from the fer South crowded its hotels and boarding-
houses ; great numbers of mechanics and laborers out of
employment encumbered its streets; and everywhere poli-
ticians, merchants, mechanics, laborers and loafers were
engaged in heated discussions about the anticipated war, and
the probability of Northern troops being marched through
Maryland to slaughter and pillage beyond the Potomac. It
would seem like an easy thing to beguile a few individuals of
this angry and excited multitude into the expression of some
criminal desire; and the opportunity was not wholly lost,
although the limited success of the detective under such
favorable circumstances is absolutely wonderful. He put his
* shadows 9 upon several persons whom it suited his pleasure
to suspect, and the ' shadows ' pursued their work with the
keen zest and the cool treachery of their kind. They reported
daily to their chief in writing, as he reported in turn to his
122 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
employer. These documents are neither edifying nor useful :
they prove nothing but the baseness of the vocation which
gave them existence. They were furnished to Mr. Herndon
in full, under the impression that partisan feeling had ex-
tinguished in him the love of truth and the obligations of
candor, as it had in many writers who preceded him on the
same subject-matter. They have been carefully and thoroughly
read, analyzed, examined and compared, with an earnest and
conscientious desire to discover the truth, if, perchance, any
trace of truth might be in them. The process of investigation
began with a strong bias in favor of the conclusion at which
the detective had arrived. For ten years the author im-
plicitly believed in the reality of the atrocious plot which
these spies were supposed to have detected and thwarted;
and for ten years he had pleased himself with the reflection
that he also had done something to defeat the bloody purpose
of the assassins. It was a conviction which could scarcely
have been overthrown by evidence less powerful than the
detective's weak and contradictory account of his own case.
In that account there is literally nothing to sustain the
accusation, and much to rebut it. It is perfectly manifest
that there was no conspiracy no conspiracy of a hundred, of
fifty, of twenty, of three no definite purpose in the heart
of even one man to murder Mr. Lincoln at Baltimore.
" The reports are all in the form of personal narratives,
and for the most relate when the spies went to bed, when
they rose, where they ate, what saloons and brothels they
visited, and what blackguards they met and ' drinked ; with.
One of them shadowed a loud-mouthed drinking fellow
named Luckett, and another, a poor scapegrace and brag-
gart named Hilliard. These wretches ' drinked ' and talked
a great deal, hung about bars, haunted disreputable houses,
Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 123
were constantly half drunk, and easily excited to use big and
threatening words by the faithless protestations and cunning
management of the spies. Thus Hilliard was made to say
that he thought a man who should act the part of Brutus in
these times would deserve well of his country ; and Luckett
was induced to declare that he knew a man who would kill
Lincoln. At length the great arch-conspirator the Brutus,
the Orsini of the New "World, to whom Luckett and Hilliard,
the ' national volunteers/ and all such, were as mere puppets
condescended to reveal himself in the most obliging and
confiding manner. He made no mystery of his cruel and
desperate scheme. He did not guard it as a dangerous
secret, or choose his confidants with the circumspection which
political criminals, and especially assassins, have generally
thought proper to observe. Very many persons knew what
he was about, and levied on their friends for small sums
five, ten and twenty dollars to further the Captain's plan.
Even Luckett was deep enough in the awful plot to raise
money for it ; and when he took one of the spies to a public
bar-room and introduced him to the ' Captain/ the latter sat
down and talked it all over without the slightest reserve.
When was there ever before such a loud-mouthed conspirator,
such a trustful and innocent assassin! TTis name was Fer-
randini, his occupation that of a barber, his place of business
beneath Barnum's Hotel, where the sign of the bloodthirsty
villain still invites the unsuspecting public to come in for a
" * Mr. Luckett/ so the spy relates, ' said that he was not
going home this evening; and if I would meet him at Barr^s
saloon, on South street, he would introduce me to Ferrandini.
This was unexpected to me; but I determined to take the
chances, and agreed to meet Mr. Luckett at the place named
124 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
at 7 P. M. Mr. Luckett left about 2.30 P. M., and I went
" ' I was at the office in the afternoon in hopes that Mr.
Felton might call, but he did not ; and at 6.15 P. M. I went
to supper. After supper I went to Barr's saloon, and found
Mr. Luckett and several other gentlemen there. He asked
me to drink, and introduced me to Captain Ferrandini and
Captain Turner. He eulogized me very highly as a neighbor
of his, and told Ferrandini that I was the gentleman who
had given the twenty-five dollars he (Luckett) had given to
"* The conversation at once got into politics; and Ferran-
dini, who is a fine-looking, intelligent-appearing person, be-
came very excited. He shows the Italian in, I think, a very
marked degree ; and, although excited, yet was cooler than
what I had believed was the general characteristic of Italians.
He has lived South for many years, and is thoroughly imbued
with the idea that the South must rule ; that they (Southern-
ers) have been outraged in their rights by the election of
Lincoln, and freely justified resorting to any means to prevent
Lincoln from taking his seat; and, as he spoke, his eyes
fairly glared and glistened, and his whole frame quivered ;
but he was fdlly conscious of all he was doing. He is a man
well calculated for controlling and directing the ardent-
minded ; he is an enthusiast, and believes that, to use his
own words, "murder of any kind is justifiable and right to
save the rights of the Southern people." In all his views he
was ably seconded by Captain Turner.
" ' Captain Turner is an American ; but although very
much of a gentleman, and possessing warm Southern feelings,
he is not by any means so dangerous a man as Ferrandini, as
his ability for exciting others is less powerful ; but that he is
Lamon's Account of ffie Alleged Conspiracy. 125
a bold and proud man there is no doubt, as also that he is
entirely under the control of Ferrandini. In feet, he could
not be otherwise, for even I myself felt the influence of this
man's strange power ; and, wrong though I knew him to be,
I felt strangely unable to keep my mind balanced against
" < Ferrandini said, " Never, never, shall Lincoln be Presi-
dent !" His life (Ferrandini's) was of no consequence ; he
was willing to give it up for Lincoln's ; he would sell it for
that abolitionist's ; and as Orsini had given his life for Italy,
so was he (Ferrandini) ready to die for his country and the
rights of the South; and said Ferrandini, turning to Captain
Turner, " "We shall all die together : we shall show the North
that we fear them not. Every man, Captain," said he, " will
on that day prove himself a hero. The first shot fired, the
main traitor (Lincoln) dead, and all Maryland will be with
us, and the South shall be free ; and the North must then be
ours. Mr. Hutchins," said Ferrandini, "if I alone must do
it, I shall : Lincoln shall die in this city."
" 'Whilst we were thus talking, we (Mr. Luckett, Turner,
Ferrandini and myself) were alone in one corner of the bar-
room, and, while talking, two strangers had got pretty near
us. Mr. Luckett called Ferrandini's attention to this, and
intimated that they were listening ; and we went up to the bar,
drinked again at my expense, and again retired to another
part of the room, at Ferrandini's request, to see if the
strangers would again follow us. Whether by accident or
design, they again got near us ; but of course we were not
talking of any matter of consequence. Ferrandini said he
suspected they were spies, and suggested that he had to
attend a secret meeting, and was apprehensive that the two
strangers might follow him ; and, at Mr. Luckettfs request,
126 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
I remained with him (Luckett) to watch the movements of
the strangers. I assured Ferrandini that if they would
attempt to follow him, we would whip them.
" < Ferrandini and Turner left to attend the meeting, and,
anxious as I was to follow them myself, I was obliged to
remain with Mr. Luckett to watch the strangers, which we
did for about fifteen minutes, when Mr. Luckett said that he
should go to a friend's to stay over night, and I left for my
hotel, arriving there at about 9 P. M., and soon retired/
" It is in a secret communication between hireling spies and
paid informers that these ferocious sentiments are attributed
to the poor knight of the soap-pot. No disinterested person
would believe the story upon such evidence; and it will
appear hereafter that even the detective felt that it was too
weak to mention among his strong points, at that decisive
moment when he revealed all he knew to the President and
his friends. It is probably a mere fiction. If it had had
any foundation in fact, we are inclined to believe that the
sprightly and eloquent barber would have dangled at a rope's
end long since. He would hardly have been left to shave and
plot in peace, while the members of the Legislature, the
Police Marshal, and numerous private gentlemen, were
locked up in Federal prisons. When Mr. Lincoln was
actually slain, four years later, and the cupidity of the
detectives was excited by enormous rewards, Ferrandini was
totally unmolested. But even if Ferrandini really said all
that is here imputed to him, he did no more than many
others around him were doing at the same time. He drank
and talked, and made swelling speeches ; but he never took,
nor seriously thought of taking, the first step toward the
frightful tragedy he is said to have contemplated.
" The detectives are cautious not to' include in the supposed
Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 127
plot to murder any person of eminence, power, or influence.
Their game is all of the smaller sort, and, as they conceived,
easily taken witless vagabonds like Hilliard and Luckett,
and a barber, whose calling indicates his character and asso-
ciations. 1 They had no fault to find with the Governor of
the State ; he was rather a lively trimmer, to be sure, and
very anxious to turn up at last on the winning side ; but it
was manifestly impossible that one in such an exalted station
could meditate murder. Yet, if they had pushed their
inquiries with an honest desire to get at the truth, they
might have found much stronger evidence against the Gover-
nor than that which they pretend to have found against the
barber. In the Governor's case the evidence is documentary,
written, authentic over his own hand, clear and conclusive
as pen and ink could make it. As early as the previous
November, Governor Hicks had written the following letter ;
and, notwithstanding its treasonable and murderous import,
the writer became conspicuously loyal before spring, and
lived to reap splendid rewards and high honors, under the
auspices of the Federal Government, as the most patriotic
and devoted Union man in Maryland. The person to whom
the letter was addressed was equally fortunate ; and, instead
of drawing out his comrades in the field to 'kill Lincoln
and his men/ he was sent to Congress by power exerted
from Washington at a time when the administration selected
the representatives of Maryland, and performed all his duties
right loyally and acceptably. Shall one be taken and another
left? Shall Hicks go to the Senate and Webster to Congress,
1 Mr. Ferrandini, now in advanced years, still lives in Baltimore, and
declares the charge of conspiracy to be wholly absurd and fictitious, and
those who know him will, I think, believe that he is an unlikely person
to be engaged in such a plot.
128 Baltimore and the I$th of April, 1861.
while the poor barber is held to the silly words which he is
alleged to have sputtered out between drinks in a low grog-
gery, under the blandishments and encouragements of an
eager spy, itching for his reward ?
" * STATE OF MARYLAND,
" ' EXECUTIVE CHAMBER,
" ' ANNAPOLIS, November 9, 1860.
" * Hon. B. H. WEBSTER.
" * My Dear Sir : I hare pleasure in acknowledging receipt of your favor
introducing a very clever gentleman to my acquaintance (though a Demo').
I regret to say that we have, at this time, no arms on hand to distribute, but
assure you at the earliest possible moment your company shall have arms ;
they have complied with all required on their part. We have some
delay, in consequence of contracts with Georgia and Alabama ahead of
us. We expect at an early day an additional supply, and of first received
your people shall be furnished. Will they be good men to send out to kill
Lincoln and his men ? If not, suppose the arms would be better sent South.
" ' How does late election sit with you ? 'Tis too bad. Harf ord nothing to
reproach herself for.
" ' Your obedient servant,
"<THOS. H. HICKS.'
" With the Presidential party was Hon. Norman B. Judd ;
he was supposed to exercise unbounded influence over the new
President; and with him, therefore, the detective opened
communications. At various places along the route Mr,
Judd was given vague hints of the impending danger, accom-
panied by the usual assurances of the skill and activity of
the patriots who were perilling their lives in a rebel city to
save that of the Chief Magistrate. When he reached New
York, he was met by the woman who had originally gone
with the other spies to Baltimore. She had urgent messages
from her chief messages that disturbed Mr. Judd exceed-
ingly. The detective was anxious to meet Mr. Judd and the
President, and a meeting was accordingly arranged to take
place at Philadelphia.
Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 129
" Mr. Lincoln reached Philadelphia on the afternoon of the
21st. The detective had arrived in the morning, and im-
proved the interval to impress and enlist Mr* Felton. In
the evening he got Mr. Judd and Mr. Felton into his room
at the St. Louis Hotel, and told them all he had learned.
He dwelt at large on the fierce temper of the Baltimore
secessionists; on the loose talk he had heard ahout ' fire-
balls or hand^renades ' ; on a * privateer ? said to be
moored somewhere in the bay; on the organization called
National Volunteers; on the feet that, eavesdropping at
Barnum's Hotel, he had overheard Marshal Kane intimate
that he would not supply a police force on some undefined
occasion, but what the occasion was he did not know. He
made .much of his miserable victim, Hilliard, whom he held
up as a perfect type of the class from which danger was to be
apprehended ; but concerning " Captain " Ferrandini and
his threats, he said, according to his own account, not a single
word. He had opened his case, his whole case, and stated it
as strongly as he could. Mr. Judd was very much startled,
and was sure that it would be extremely imprudent for Mr.
Lincoln to pass through Baltimore in open daylight, accord-
ing to the published programme. But he thought the
detective ought to see the President himself; and, as it was
wearing toward nine o'clock, there was no time to lose. It
was agreed that the part taken by the detective and Mr.
Felton should be kept secret from every one but the Presi-
dent. Mr. Sanford, President of the American Telegraph
Company, had also been co-operating in the business, and
the same stipulation was made with regard to him.
"Mr. Judd went to his own room at the Continental, and
the detective followed. The crowd in the hotel was very
dense, and it took some time to get a message to Mr. Lincoln.
130 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
But it finally reacted him, and he responded in person. Mr.
Judd introduced the detective, and the latter told his story
over again, with a single variation : this time he mentioned
the name of Ferrandini along with Hilliard's, but gave no
more prominence to one than to the other.
" Mr. Judd and the detective wanted Lincoln to leave for
Washington that night. This he flatly refused to do. He
had engagements with the people, he said, to raise a flag over
Independence Hall in the morning, and to exhibit himself at
Harrisburg in the afternoon, and these engagements he
would not break in any event. But he would raise the flag,
go to Harrisburg, 'get away quietly' in the evening, and
permit himself to be carried to Washington in the way they
thought best. Even this, however, he conceded with great
reluctance. He condescended to cross-examine the detective
on some parts of his narrative, but at no time did he seem in
the least degree alarmed. He was earnestly requested not to
communicate the change of plan to any member of his party
except Mr. Judd, nor permit even a suspicion of it to cross
the mind of another. To this he replied that he would be
compelled to tell Mrs. Lincoln/ and he thought it likely that
she would insist upon W. H. Lamon going with him ; but,
aside from that, no one should know. 3
"In the meantime, Mr. Seward had also discovered the con-
spiracy. He dispatched his son to Philadelphia to warn the
President-elect of the terrible plot into whose meshes he was
about to run. Mr. Lincoln turned him over to Judd, and
Judd told him they already knew all about it. He went
away with just enough information to enable his father to
anticipate the exact moment of Mr. Lincoln's surreptitious
arrival in Washington.
" Early on the morning of the 22d, Mr. Lincoln raised the
Lamon's Account of the Atteged Conspiracy. 131
flag over Independence Hall, and departed for Harrisburg.
On the way Mr. Judd ( gave him a foil and precise detail of
the arrangements that had been made ' the previous night.
After the conference with the detective, Mr. Sanford, Colonel
Scott, Mr. Felton, railroad and telegraph officials, had been
sent for, and came to Mr. Judd's room. They occupied nearly
the whole of the night in perfecting the plan. It was finally
understood that about six o'clock the next evening Mr.
Lincoln should slip away from the Jones Hotel, at Harris-
burg, in company with a single member of his party. A
special car and engine would be provided for him on the track
outside the depot. All other trains on the road would be
e side-tracked ' until this one had passed. Mr. Sanford
would forward skilled ' telegraph-climbers/ and see that
all the wires leading out of Harrisburg were cut at six
o'clock, and kept down until it was known that Mr. Lincoln
had reached Washington in safety. The detective would
meet Mr. Lincoln at the West Philadelphia Depot with a
carriage, and conduct him by a circuitous route to the Phila-
delphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Depot. Berths for four
would be pre-engaged in the sleeping-cax attached to the
regular midnight train for Baltimore. This train Mr. Felton
would cause to be detained until the conductor should receive
a package, containing important ' Government dispatches,'
addressed to <E. J. Allen, Willard's Hotel, Washington.'
This package was made up of old newspapers, carefully
wrapped and sealed, and delivered to the detective to be used
as soon as Mr. Lincoln was lodged in the car. Mr. Lincoln
approved of the plan, and signified his readiness to acquiesce.
Then Mr. Judd, forgetting the secrecy which the spy had so
impressively enjoined, told Mr. Lincoln that the step he was
about to take was one of such transcendent importance that
132 Baltimore cmd the 19th of April, 1861.
he thought 'it should be communicated to the other gentle-
men of the party.' Mr. Lincoln said, ' You can do as you
like about that. 3 Mr. Judd now changed his seat; and Mr.
Meolay, whose suspicions seem to have been aroused by this
mysterious conference, sat down beside him and said : ' Judd,
there is something up. What is it, if it is proper that I
should know?' ' George/ answered Judd, ' there is no
necessity for your knowing it. One man can keep a matter
better than two/
"Arrived at Harrisburg, and the public ceremonies and
speechmaking over, Mr. Lincoln retired to a private parlor
in the Jones House, and Mr. Judd summoned to meet him
Judge Davis, Colonel Lamon, Colonel Sumner, Major Hunter
and Captain Pope. The three latter were officers of the
regular army, and had joined the party after it had left
Springfield. Judd began the conference by stating the
alleged fact of the Baltimore conspiracy, how it was detected,
and how it was proposed to thwart it by a midnight expe-
dition to Washington by way of Philadelphia. It was a
great surprise to most of those assembled. Colonel Sumner
was the first to break silence. ' That proceeding/ said he,
'will be a damned piece of cowardice/ Mr, Judd con-
sidered this a ' pointed hit/ but replied that 'that view of
the case had already been presented to Mr. Lincoln.' Then
there was a general interchange of opinions, which Sumner
interrupted by saying, * Fll get a squad of cavalry, sir, and
cut our way to Washington, sir!' 'Probably before that
day comes/ said Mr. Judd, e the inauguration-day will have
passed. It is important that Mr. Lincoln should be in
Washington that day.' Thus far Judge Davis had expressed
no opinion, but ' had put various questions to test the truth-
fulness of the story.' He now turned to Mr. Lincoln and
Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 133
said, 'You personally heard the detective's story. You
have heard this discussion. "What is your judgment in the
matter ? 7 C T have listened/ answered Mr. Lincoln, < to this
discussion with interest. I see no reason, no good reason,
to change the programme, and I am for carrying it out
as arranged by Judd. 7 There was no longer any dissent as
to the plan itself; but one question still remained to be dis-
posed of. Who should accompany the President on his
perilous ride ? Mr. Judd again took the lead, declaring that
he and Mr. Lincoln had previously determined that but one
man ought to go, and that Colonel Lamon had been selected
as the proper person. To this Sumner violently demurred.
'I have undertaken/ he exclaimed, f to see Mr. Lincoln to
" Mr. Lincoln was hastily dining when a close carriage was
brought to the side door of the hotel. He was called, hurried
to his room, changed his coat and hat, and passed rapidly
through the hall and out of the door. As he was stepping
into the carriage, it became manifest that Simmer was
determined to get in also. ' Hurry with him/ whispered
Judd to Lamon, and at the same time, placing his hand on
Sumner's shoulder, said aloud, 'One m6ment, Colonel! 7
Sumner turned around, and in that moment the carriage
drove rapidly away. 'A madder man/ says Mr. Judd, ' you
never saw. 7
" Mr. Lincoln and Colonel Lamon got on board the car
without discovery or mishap. Besides themselves, there was
no one in or about the car but Mr. Lewis, General Super-
intendent of the Pennsylvania Central Eailroad, and Mr.
Franciscus, superintendent of the division over which they
were about to pass. As Mr. Lincoln 7 s dress on this occasion
has been much discussed, it may be as well to state that he
134 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
wore a soft, light felt hat, drawn down over his face when it
seemed necessary or convenient, and a shawl thrown over his
shoulders, and pulled up to assist in disguising his features
when passing to and from the carriage. This was all there
was of the c Scotch cap and cloak/ so widely celebrated in
the political literature of the day.
"At ten o'clock they reached Philadelphia, and were met by
the detective and one Mr. Kinney, an under official of the
Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. Lewis
and Franciscus bade Mr. Lincoln adieu. Mr. Lincoln,
Colonel Lamon and the detective seated themselves in a
carriage which stood in waiting, and Mr. Kinney got upon
the box with the driver. It was a full hour and a half
before the Baltimore train was to start, and Mr. Kinney
found it necessary c to consume the time by driving north-
ward in search of some imaginary person.'
"On the way through Philadelphia, Mr. Lincoln told his
companions about the message he had received from Mr.
Seward. This new discovery was infinitely more appalling
than the other. Mr. Seward had been informed 'that about
fifteen thousand men were organized to prevent his (Lincoln's)
passage through Baltimore, and that arrangements were made
by these parties to blow wp the railroad track, fire the train,'
etc. In view of these unpleasant circumstances, Mr. Seward
recommended a change of route. Here was a plot big enough
to swallow up the little one, which we are to regard as the
peculiar property of Mr. Felton's detective. Hilliaxd, Fer-
randini and Luckett disappear among the ' fifteen thousand/
and their maudlin and impotent twaddle about the ' abolition
tyrant ' looks very insignificant beside the bloody massacre,
conflagration and explosion now foreshadowed.
"As the moment for the departure of the Baltimore train
Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 135
drew near, the carriage paused in the dark shadows of the
depot building. It was not considered prudent to approach
the entrance. The spy passed in first and was followed by
Mr. Lincoln and Colonel Lamon. An agent of the former
directed them to the sleeping-car, which they entered by the
rear door* Mr. Kinney ran forward and delivered to the
conductor the important package prepared for the purpose ;
and in three minutes the train was in motion. The tickets
for the whole party had been procured beforehand. Their
berths were ready, but had only been preserved from invasion
by the statement that they were retained for a sick man and
his attendants. The business had been managed very adroitly
by the female spy, who had accompanied her employer from
Baltimore to Philadelphia to assist him in this, the most
delicate and important aflair of his life. Mr. Lincoln got
into his bed immediately, and the curtains were drawn to-
gether. When the conductor came around, the detective
handed him the 'sick man's' ticket, and the rest of the
party lay down also. None of * our . party appeared to be
sleepy/ says the detective, 'but we all lay quiet, and
nothing of importance transpired/ .... During the night
Mr. Lincoln indulged in a joke or two in an undertone;
but, with that exception, the two sections occupied by them
were perfectly silent. The detective said he had men sta-
tioned at various places along the road to let him know 'if
all was right/ and he rose and went to the platform occasion-
ally to observe their signals, but returned each time with a
"At thirty minutes after three the train reached Baltimore.
One of the spy's assistants came on board and informed him
in a whisper that all was right. The woman [the female
detective} got out of the car. Mr. Lincoln lay dose in his
136 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
berth, and in a few moments the car was being slowly drawn
through the quiet streets of the city toward the Washington
Depot. There again there was another pause, but no sound
more alarming than the noise of shifting cars and engines.
The passengers, tucked away on their narrow shelves, dozed
on as peacefully as if Mr. Lincoln had never been bom. . . .
" In due time the train sped out of the suburbs of Baltimore,
and the apprehensions of the President and his friends
diminished with each welcome revolution of the wheels. At
six o'clock the dome of the Capitol came in sight, and a
moment later they rolled into the long, unsightly building
which forms the Washington Depot. They passed out of the
car unobstructed, and pushed along with the living stream
of men and women towards the outer door. One man alone
in the great crowd seemed to watch Mr. Lincoln with special
attention. Standing a little on one side, he c looked very
sharp at him/ and, as he passed, seized hold of his hand and
said in a loud tone of voice, 'Abe, you can't play that on
me/ The detective and Col. Lamon were instantly alarmed.
One of them raised his fist to strike the stranger ; but Mr.
Lincoln caught his arm and said, e Don't strike him ! don't
strike him ! It is Washburne. Don't you know him ? ' Mr.
Seward had given to Mr. Washburne a hint of the informa-
tion received through his son, and Mr. Washburne knew its
value as well as another. For the present the detective
admonished him to keep quiet, and they passed on together.
Taking a hack, they drove towards Willard's Hotel. Mr.
Lincoln, Mr. Washburne and the detective got out into the
street and approached the ladies' entrance, while Col. Lamon
drove on to the main entrance, and sent the proprietor to
meet his distinguished guest at the side door. A few
minutes later Mr. Seward arrived, and was introduced to the
Lamon's Account of ffie Alleged Conspiracy. 137
company by Mr. Washburne. He spoke in very strong
terms of the great- danger which Mr. Lincoln had so nar-
rowly escaped, and most heartily applauded the wisdom of
the 'secret passage.' 'I informed Gov. Seward of the
nature of the information I had/ says the detective, 'and
that I had no information of any large organization in Balti-
more; but the Governor reiterated that he had conclusive
evidence of this/ ....
" That same day Mr. Lincoln's family and suite passed
through Baltimore on the special train intended for him.
They saw no sign of any disposition to burn them alive, or
to blow them up with gunpowder, but went their way unmo-
lested and very happy.
"Mr. Lincoln soon learned to regret the midnight ride.
His friends reproached him ; his enemies taunted him. He
was convinced that he had committed a grave mistake in
yielding to the solicitations of a professional spy and of
friends too easily alarmed. He saw that he had fled from a
danger purely imaginary, and felt the shame and mortifica-
tion natural to a brave man under such circumstances. But
he was not disposed to take all the responsibility to himself,,
and frequently upbraided the writer for having aided and
assisted him to demean himself at the very moment in all his-
life when his behavior should have exhibited the utmost
dignity and composure.
"The news of his surreptitious entry into Washington
occasioned much and varied comment throughout the country ;
but important events followed it in such rapid succession
that its real significance was soon lost sight of; enough that
Mr. Lincoln was safely at the Capital, and in a few days
would in all probability assume the power confided to his
EXTRACT FROM THE OPINION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF
THE UNITED STATES, DELIVERED BY CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY
IN THE CASE OF DRED SCOTT VS. SANDFORD, 19 HOW. 407.
" It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public
opinion in relation to that unfortunate race " (the African)
" which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of
the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and
when the Constitution of the United States was framed and
" But the public history of every European nation displays
it in a manner too plain to be mistaken.
ce They had for more than a century before been regarded as
beings of an inferior order 5 and altogether unfit to associate
with the white race, either in social or political relations;
and so jfar inferior, that they had no rights which the white
man was bound to respect ; and that the negro might justly
and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit."
THE HABEAS CORPUS CASE EX PARTE JOHX MERRYMAST,
CAMPBELL'S REPORTS, p. 246. OPINION OP THE CHIEF
JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES.
Ex parte 1 Before the Chief Justice of the Supreme
JOHN MERRYMAN. j Court of the United States, at Chambers.
The application in this case for a writ of habeas corpus is
made to me under the fourteenth section of the Judiciary Act
of 1789, which renders effectual for the citizen the constitu-
tional privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. That act gives
to the courts of the United States, as well as to each justice
of the Supreme Court and to every district judge, power to
grant writs of habeas corpus for the purpose of an inquiry into
the cause of commitment. The petition was presented to me
at Washington, under the impression that I would order the
prisoner to be brought before me there ; but as he was confined
in Fort McHenry, in the city of Baltimore, which is in my
circuit, I resolved to hear it in the latter city, as obedience to
the writ under such circumstances would not withdraw
General Cadwallader, who had him in charge, from the limits
of his military command.
The petition presents the following case :
. The petitioner resides in Maryland, in Baltimore County.
While peaceably in his own house, with his family, it was, at
two o'clock on the morning of the 25th of May, 1861, entered
by an armed force professing to act under military orders.
140 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
He was then compelled to rise from his bed, taken into
custody and conveyed to Fort McHenry, where he is im-
prisoned by the commanding officer, without warrant from,
any lawful authority.
The commander of the fort, General George Cadwallader,
by whom he is detained in confinement, in his return to the
writ, does not deny any of the facts alleged in the petition.
He states that the prisoner was arrested by order of General
Keim, of Pennsylvania, and conducted as aforesaid to Fort
McHenry by his order, and placed in his (General Cadwal-
lader's) custody, to be there detained by him as a prisoner.
A copy of the warrant or order under which the prisoner
was arrested was demanded by his counsel and refused. And
it is not alleged in the return that any specific act, consti-
tuting any offense against the laws of the United States, has
been charged against him upon oath ; but he appears to have
been arrested upon general charges of treason and rebellion,
without proof, and without giving the names of the witnesses,
or specifying the acts which, in the judgment of the military
officer, constituted these crimes. Having the prisoner thus
in custody upon these vague and unsupported accusations, he
refuses to obey the writ of habeas corpus, upon the ground
that he is duly authorized by the President to suspend it.
The case, then, is simply this : A military officer, residing
in Pennsylvania, issues an order to arrest a citizen of Mary-
land upon vague and indefinite charges, without any proof,
so far as appears. Under this order his house is entered in
the night, he is seized as a prisoner and conveyed to Fort
McHenry, and there kept in close confinement. And w*hen
a habeas corpus is served on the commanding officer, requir-
ing him to produce the prisoner before a justice of the
Supreme Court, in order that he may examine into the
Habeas Corpus. 141
legality of the imprisonment, the answer of the officer is
that he is authorized by the President to suspend the writ of
habeas corpus at his discretion, and, in the exercise of that
discretion, suspends it in this case, and on that ground
refuses obedience to the writ.
As the case comes before me, therefore, I understand that
the President not only claims the right to suspend the writ
of habeas corpus himself at his discretion, but to delegate that
discretionary power to a military officer, and to leave it to
him to determine whether he will or will not obey judicial
process that may be served upon him.
No official notice has been given to the courts of justice,
or to the public, by proclamation or otherwise, that the
President claimed this power, and had exercised it in the
manner stated in the return. And I certainly listened to it
with some surprise ; for I had supposed it to be one of those
points of constitutional law upon which there was no differ-
ence of opinion, and that it was admitted on all hands that
the privilege of the writ could not be suspended except by
act of Congress.
When the conspiracy of which Aaron Burr was the head
became so formidable and was so extensively ramified as to
justify, in Mr. Jefierson's opinion, the suspension of the writ,
he claimed on his part no power to suspend it, but communi-
cated his opinion to Congress, with all the proofe in his
possession, in order that Congress might exercise its discre-
tion upon the subject, and determine whether the public
safety required it. And in the debate which took place upon
the subject, no one suggested that Mr. Jefferson might exer-
cise the power himself, if, in his opinion, the public safety
Having therefore regarded the question as too plain and too
142 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
well settled to be open to dispute, if the commanding officer
had stated that upon his own responsibility, and in the exer-
cise of his own discretion, he refused obedience to the writ, I
should have contented myself with referring to the clause in
the Constitution, and to the construction it received from
every jurist and statesman of that day, when the case of Burr
was before them. But being thus officially notified that the
privilege of the writ has been suspended under the orders
and by the authority of the President, and believing, as I do,
that the President has exercised a power which he does not
possess under the Constitution, a proper respect for the high
office he fills requires me to state plainly and fully the
grounds of my opinion, in order to show that I have not
ventured to question the legality of his act without a careful
and deliberate examination of the whole subject.
The clause of the Constitution which authorizes the sus-
pension of the privilege of the writ ofliabeas corpus is in the
ninth section of the first article.
This article is devoted to the legislative department of the
United States, and has not the slightest reference to the
Executive Department. It begins by providing "that all
legislative powers therein granted shall be vested in a Con-
gress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate
and House of Representatives"; and after prescribing the
manner in which these two branches of the legislative depart-
ment shall be chosen, it proceeds to enumerate specifically
the legislative powers which it thereby grants, and at the
conclusion of this specification a clause is inserted giving
Congress " the power to make all laws which shall be neces-r
sary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing
powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in
the Government of the United States, or in any department
or office thereof."
Habeas Corpus. 143
The power of legislation granted by this latter clause is
by its words carefully confined to the specific objects before
enumerated. But as this limitation was unavoidably some-
what indefinite, it was deemed necessary to guard more
effectually certain great cardinal principles essential to the
liberty of the citizen, and to the rights and equality of the
States, by denying to Congress, in express terms, any power
of legislation over them. It was apprehended, it seems, that
such legislation might be attempted under the pretext that it
was necessary and proper to carry into execution the powers
granted ; and it was determined that there should be no room
to doubt, where rights of such vital importance were concerned,
and accordingly this clause is immediately followed by an
enumeration of certain subjects to which the powers of legis-
lation shall not extend. The great importance which the
framers of the Constitution attached to the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus to protect the liberty of the citizen, is
proved by the fact that its suspension, except in cases of in-
vasion or rebellion, is first in the list of prohibited powers
and even in these cases the power is denied and its exercise
prohibited, unless the public safety shall require it. It is
true that in the cases mentioned, Congress is of necessity the
judge of whether the public safety does, or does not, require
it ; and its judgment is conclusive. But the introduction of
these words is a standing admonition to the legislative body
of the danger of suspending it, and of the extreme caution
they should exercise before they give the Government of the
United States such power over the liberty of a citizen.
It is the -second article of the Constitution that provides
for the organization of the Executive Department, and
enumerates the powers conferred on it, and prescribes its
duties. And if the high power over the liberty of the citizen
144 Baltimore and the 19tt, of April, 1861.
now claimed was intended to be conferred on the President,
it would undoubtedly be found in plain words in this article.
But there is not a word in it that can furnish the slightest
ground to justify the exercise of the power.
The article begins by declaring that the executive power
shall be vested in a President of the United States of America,
to hold his office during the term of four years, and then pro-
ceeds to prescribe the mode of election, and to specify in
precise and plain words the powers delegated to him, and the
duties imposed upon him. The short term for which he is
elected, and the narrow limits to which his power is confined,
show the jealousy and apprehensions of future danger which
the framers of the Constitution felt in relation to that depart-
ment of the Government, and how carefully they withheld
from it many of the powers belonging to the Executive
Branch of the English Government which were considered as
dangerous to the liberty of the subject, and conferred (and
that in clear and specific terms) those powers only which
were deemed essential to secure the successful operation of
He is elected, as I have already said, for the brief term of
four years, and is made personally responsible by impeach-
ment for malfeasance in office. He is from necessity and the
nature of his duties the Commander-in-Chief of the Army
and Navy, and of the militia when called into actual service.
But no appropriation for the support of the Army can be
made by Congress for a longer term than -two years, so
that it is in the power of the succeeding House of Repre-
sentatives to withhold the appropriation for its support,
and thus disband it, if, in their judgment, the President
used or designed to use it for improper purposes. And
although the militia, when in actual service, is under his
Habeas Corpus. 145
command, yet the appointment of the officers is reserved to
the States, as a security against the use of the military power
for purposes dangerous to the liberties of the people or the
rights, of the States.
So, too, his powers in relation to the civil duties and
authority necessarily conferred on him are carefully restricted,
as well as those belonging to his military character. He
cannot appoint the ordinary officers of Government, nor
make a treaty with a foreign nation or Indian tribe, without
the advice and consent of the Senate, and cannot appoint
even inferior officers unless he is authorized by an Act of
Congress to do so. He is not empowered to arrest any one
charged with an offense against the United States, and whom
he may, from the evidence before him, believe to be guilty;
nor can he authorize any officer, civil or military, to exercise
this power; for the fifth article of the Amendments to the
Constitution expressly provides that no person "shall be
deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of
la W "that is, judicial process. Even if the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus were suspended by Act of Congress, and
a party not subject to the rules and articles of war were after-
wards arrested and imprisoned by regular judicial process,
he could not be detained in prison or brought to trial
before a military tribunal ; for the article in the Amendments
to the Constitution immediately following the one above
referred to that is, the sixth article provides that "in all
criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and
district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which
district shall have been previously ascertained by law ; and to
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation ; ix> be
confronted with the witnesses against him; to have com-
146 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
pulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to
have the assistance of counsel for his defense."
The only power, therefore, which the President possesses,
where the "life, liberty, or property" of a private citizen is
concerned, is the power and duty prescribed in the third sec-
tion of the second article, which requires " that he shall take
care that the laws be faithfully executed." He is not author-
ized to execute them himself, or through agents or officers,
civil or military, appointed by himself, but he is to take care
that they be faithfully carried into execution as they are
expounded and adjudged by the co-ordinate branch of the
Government to which that duty is assigned by the Constitu-
tion. It is thus made his duty to come in aid of the judicial
authority, if it shall be resisted by a force too strong to be
overcome without the assistance of the executive arm. But
in exercising this power he acts in subordination to judicial
authority, assisting it to execute its process and enforce its
With such provisions in the Constitution, expressed in
language too clear to be misunderstood by any one, I can see
no ground whatever for supposing that the President, in any
emergency or in any state of things, can authorize the suspen-
sion of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or the arrest
of a citizen, except in aid of the judicial power* He certainly
does not faithfully execute the laws if he takes upon himself
legislative power by suspending the writ of habeas corpus,
and the judicial power also, by arresting and imprisoning a
person without due process of law. Nor can any argument
be drawn from the nature of sovereignty, or the necessity of
Government for self-defense in times of tumult and danger.
The Government of the United States is one of delegated
and limited powers. It derives its existence and authority
Habeas Corpus. 147
altogether from the Constitution, and neither of its branches,
executive, legislative or judicial, can exercise any of the
powers of Government .beyond those specified and granted.
For the tenth article of the Amendments to the Constitution
in express terms provides that "the powers not delegated to
the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to
the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the
Indeed, the security against imprisonment by executive
authority, provided for in the fifth article of the Amendments
to the Constitution, which I have before quoted, is nothing
more than a copy of a like provision in the English Constitu-
tion, which had been firmly established before the Declara-*
tion of Independence.
Blackstone states it in the following words :
" To make imprisonment lawful, it must be either by proc-
ess of law from the courts of judicature or by warrant from
some legal officer having authority to commit to prison"
(1 EL Com. 137).
The people of the United Colonies, who had themselves
lived under its protection while they were British subjects,
were well aware of the necessity of this safeguard for their
personal liberty. And no one can believe that, in framing a
government intended to guard still more efficiently the rights
and liberties of the citizen against executive encroachments
and oppression, they would have conferred on the President
a power which the history of England had proved to be dan-
gerous and oppressive in the hands of the Crown, and which
the people of England had compelled it to surrender after a
long and obstinate struggle on the part of the English Exec-
utive to usurp and retain it.
The right of the subject to the benefit of the writ of habeas
148 Baltimore and ffie I9th of April, 1861.
corpus, it must be recollected, was one of the great points in
controversy during the long struggle in England between
arbitrary government and free institutions, and must there-
fore have strongly attracted the attention of the statesmen
engaged in framing a new, and, as they supposed, a freer
government than the one which they had thrown off by the
Revolution. From the earliest history of the common law,
if a person were imprisoned, no matter by what authority,
he had a right to the writ of habeas corpus to bring his 'case
before the King's Bench; if no specific offense were charged
against him in the warrant of commitment, he was entitled to
be forthwith discharged; and if an offense were charged
which was bailable in its character, the Court was bound to
set him at liberty on bail. The most exciting contests
between the Crown and the people of England from the time
of Magna Charta were in relation to the privilege of this
writ, and they continued until the passage of the statute of
31st Charles II, commonly known as the Great Habeas Corpus
Act. This statute put an end to the struggle, and finally and
firmly secured the liberty of the subject against the usurpa-
tion and oppression of the executive branch of the Govern-
ment. It nevertheless conferred no new right upon the sub-
ject, but only secured a right already existing. For, although
the right could not justly be denied, there was often no
effectual remedy against its violation. Until the statute of
13 William III, the judges held their offices at the pleasure
of the King, and the influence which he exercised over timid,
time-serving and partisan judges often induced them, upon
some pretext or other, to refuse to discharge the party,
although entitled by law to his discharge, or delayed their
decision from time to time, so as to prolong the imprison-
ment of persons who were obnoxious to the King for their
Habeas Corpus. 149
political opinions, or had incurred his resentment in any
The great and inestimable value of the habeas corpus act of
the 31st Charles II. is that it contains provisions which com-
pel courts and judges, and all parties concerned, to perform
their duties promptly in the manner specified in the statute.
A passage in Blackstone's Commentaries, showing the
ancient state of the law on this subject, and the abuses which
were practised through the power and influence of the Crown,
and a short extract from Hallam's " Constitutional History,"
stating the circumstances which gave rise to the passage of
this statute, explain briefly, but fully, all that is material to
Blackstone says : " To assert an absolute exemption from
imprisonment in all cases is inconsistent with every idea of
law and political society, and, in the end, would destroy all
civil liberty by rendering its protection impossible.
" But the glory of the English law consists in clearly
defining the times, the causes and the extent, when, wherefore
and to what degree the imprisonment of the subject may be
lawful. This it is which induces the absolute necessity of
expressing upon every commitment the reason for which it is
made, that the court upon a habeas corpus may examine into
its validity, and, according to the circumstances of the case,
may discharge, admit to bail, or remand the prisoner.
" And yet, early in the reign of Charles I, the Court of
King's Bench, relying on some arbitrary precedents (and those,
perhaps, misunderstood), determined that they would not,
upon a habeas corpus, either bail or deliver a prisoner, though
committed without any cause assigned, in case he was com-
mitted by the special command of the King, or by the Lords
of the Privy Council. This drew on a Parliamentary inquiry
150 Baltimore and the Wth of April, 1861.
and produced the Petition of Right 3 Charles I. which
recites this illegal judgment, and enacts that no freeman here-
after shall be so imprisoned or detained. But when, in the
following year, Mr. Selden and others were committed by the
Lords of the Council, in pursuance of His Majesty's special
command, under a general charge of ' notable contempts, and
stirring up sedition against the King and the Government/
the judges delayed for two terms (including also the long
vacation) to deliver an opinion how fiir such a charge was
bailable. And when at length they agreed that it was, they,
however, annexed a condition of finding sureties for their
good behavior, which still protracted their imprisonment, the
Chief Justice, Sir Nicholas Hyde, at the same time declaring
that ' if they were again remanded for that cause, perhaps
the court would not afterwards grant a habeas corpus, being
already made acquainted with the cause of the imprisonment/
But this was heard with indignation and astonishment by
every lawyer present, according to Mr. Selden's own account
of the matter, whose resentment was not cooled at the distance
of four-and-twenty years" (3 Bl. Com. 133, 134).
It is worthy of remark that the offenses charged against
the prisoner in this case, and relied on as a justification for
his arrest and imprisonment, in their nature and character,
and in the loose and vague manner in which they are stated,
bear a striking resemblance to those assigned in the warrant
for the arrest of Mr. Selden. And yet, even at that day, the
warrant was regarded as such a flagrant violation of the rights
of the subject, that the delay of the time-serving judges to set
Trim at liberty upon the habeas corpus issued in his behalf
excited universal indignation of the bar. The extract from
Hallam's " Constitutional History" is equally impressive and
equally in point-:
Habeas Corpus. 151
" It is a very common mistake, and that not only among
foreigners, but many from wliom some knowledge of our
constitutional laws might be expected, to suppose that this
statute of Charles IE. enlarged in a great degree our liber-
ties, and forms a sort of epoch in their history. But though
a very beneficial enactment, and eminently remedial in many
cases of illegal imprisonment, it introduced no new principle,
nor conferred any right upon the subject. From the earliest
records of the English law, no freeman could be detained
in prison, except upon a criminal charge, or conviction, or
for a civil debt. In the former case it was always in his
power to demand of the Court of King's Bench a writ of
habeas corpus ad subjitiendum, directed to the person detain-
ing him in custody, by which he was enjoined to bring up
the body of the prisoner with the warrant of commitment,
that the court might judge of its sufficiency, and remand
the party, admit him to bail, or discharge him, according
to the nature of the charge. This writ issued of right, and
could not be refused by the court. It was not to bestow
an immunity from arbitrary Imprisonment which is abun-
dantly provided for in JUagna Oharta (if, indeed, it is not
more ancient) that the statute of Charles H. was enacted,
but to cut off the abuses by which the Government's lust
of power, and the servile subtlety of the Crown lawyers,
had impaired so fundamental a privilege " (3 Hallam's
" Const. Hist./' 19),
While the value set upon this writ in England has been so
great that the removal of the abuses which embarrassed its
employment has been looked upon as almost a new grant of
liberty to the subject, it is not to be wondered at that iihe
continuance of the writ thus made effective should have been
the object of the most jealous care. Accordingly, no power
152 Baltimore and flu ISth of April, 1861.
in England short of that of Parliament can suspend or
authorize the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. I
quote again from Blackstone (1 Bl. Com. 136).: "But the
happiness of our Constitution is that it is not left to the
executive power to determine when the danger of the State
is so great as to render this measure expedient. It is the
Parliament only, or legislative power, that, whenever it sees
proper, can 'authorize the Crown, hy suspending the habeas
corpus for a short and limited time, to imprison suspected
persons without giving any reason for so doing." If the
President of the United States may suspend the writ, then
the Constitution of the United States has conferred upon
him more regal and absolute power over the liberty of the
citizen than the people of England have thought it safe to
entrust to the Crown a power which the Queen of England
cannot exercise at this day, and which could not have been
lawfully exercised by the sovereign even in the reign of
But I am not left to form my judgment upon this great
question from analogies between the English Government
and our own, or the commentaries of English jurists, or the
decisions of English courts, although upon this subject they
are entitled to the highest respect, and are justly regarded
and received as authoritative by our courts of justice. To
guide me to a right conclusion, I have the Commentaries on
the Constitution of the United States of the late Mr. Justice
Story, not only one of the most eminent jurists of the age, but
for a long time one of the brightest ornaments of the Supreme
Court of the United States, and also the clear and authorita-
tive decision of that court itself, given more than half a cen-
tury since, and conclusively establishing the principles I have
Habeas Corpus. 153
Mr. Justice Story, speaking in his Commentaries of the
habeas corpus clause in the Constitution, says : " It Is obvious
that cases of a peculiar emergency may arise which may
justify, nay, even require, the temporary suspension of any
right to the writ. But as it has frequently happened in
foreign countries, and even in England, that the writ has,
upon various pretexts and occasions, been suspended, whereby
persons apprehended upon suspicion have suffered a long im-
prisonment, sometimes from design, and sometimes because
they were forgotten, the right to suspend it is expressly con-
fined to cases of rebellion or invasion, where the public safety
may require it. A very just and wholesome restraint, which
cuts down at a blow a fruitful means of oppression, capable
of being abused in bad times to the worst of purposes.
Hitherto no suspension of the writ has ever been authorized
by Congress since the establishment of the Constitution. It
would seem, as the power is given to Congress to suspend the
writ of habeas corpus in cases of rebellion or invasion, that the
right to judge whether the exigency had arisen must exclu-
sively belong to that body " (3 Story's Com. on the Con-
stitution, Section 1836).
And Chief Justice Marshall, in delivering the opinion of
the Supreme Court in the case of ex parte Bollman and Swart-
wout, uses this decisive language in 4 Cranch 95 : " It
may be worthy of remark that this Act (speaking of the one
under which I am proceeding) was passed by the first Con-
gress of the United States, sitting under a Constitution which
had declared ' that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
should not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion
or invasion, the public safety might require it.* Acting
under the immediate influence of this injunction, they mast
have felt with peculiar force the obligation of providing;
154 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
efficient means by which this great constitutional privilege
should receive life and activity ; for if the means be not in
existence, the privilege itself would be lost, although no law
for its suspension should be enacted. Under the impression
of this obligation, they give to all the courts the power of
awarding writs of habeas corpus"
And again, on page 101 : " If at any time the public safety
should require the suspension of the powers vested by this
Act in the courts of the United States, it is for the Legis-
lature to say so. That question depends on political con-
siderations, on which the Legislature is to decide. Until
the legislative will be expressed, this court can only see its
duty, and must obey the laws."
I can add nothing to these clear and emphatic words of
my great predecessor. But the documents before me show
that the military authority in this case has gone far beyond
the mere suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus. It has, by force of arms, thrust aside the judicial
authorities and officers to whom the Constitution has con-
fided the power and duty of interpreting and administering
the laws, and substituted a military government in its place,
to be administered and executed by military officers. For,
at the time these proceedings were had against John Merry-
man, the district judge of Maryland, the commissioner ap-
pointed under the Act of Congress, the district attorney and
the marshal, all resided in the city of Baltimore, a few miles
only from the home of the prisoner. Up to that time there
had never been the slightest resistance or obstruction to the
process of any court or judicial officer of the United States
in Maryland, except by the military authority. And if a
military officer, or any other person, had reason to believe
that the prisoner had committed any offense against the laws
Habeas Corpus. 155
of the United States, it was his duty to give information of the
fact, and the evidence to support it, to the district attorney ;
it would then have become the duty of that officer to bring
the matter before the district judge or commissioner, and if
there was sufficient legal evidence to justify his arrest, the
judge or commissioner would have issued his warrant to the
marshal to arrest him, and upon the hearing of the case
would have held him to bail, or committed him for trial,
according to the character of the offense as it appeared in the
testimony, or would have discharged him immediately, if
there was not sufficient evidence to support the accusation.
There was no danger of any obstruction or resistance to the
action of the civil authorities, and therefore no reason what-
ever for the interposition of the military. Yet, under these
circumstances, a military officer stationed in Pennsylvania,
without giving any information to the district attorney, and
without any application to the judicial authorities, assumes
to himself the judicial power in the District of Maryland;
undertakes to decide what constitutes the crime of treason or
rebellion; what evidence (if, indeed, he required any) is
sufficient to support the accusation and justify the commit-
ment; and commits the party without a hearing, even before
himself, to close custody in a strongly garrisoned fort, to be
.there held, it would seem, during the pleasure of those who
The Constitution provides, as I Lave before said, that "no
person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without
due process of law." It declares that "the right of the
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not
be violated, and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable
cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly
156 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things
to be seized." It provides that the party accused shall be
entitled to a speedy trial in a court of justice.
These great and fundamental laws, which Congress itself
could not suspend, have been disregarded and suspended,
like the writ of habeas corpus, by a military order, sup-
ported by force of arms. Such is the case now before me,
and I can only say that if the authority which the Con-
stitution has confided to the judiciary department and judicial
officers may thus upon any pretext or under any circum-
stances be usurped by the military power at its discretion,
the people of the United States are no longer living under a
government of laws, but every citizen holds life, liberty and
property at the will and pleasure of the army officer in
whose military district he may happen to be found.
In such a case my duty was too plain to be mistaken. I
have exercised all the power which the Constitution and laws
confer upon me, but that power has been resisted by a force
too strong for me to overcome. It is possible that the officer
who has incurred this grave responsibility may have misun-
derstood his instructions and exceeded the authority intended
to be given him. I shall therefore order all the proceed-
ings in this case, with my opinion, to be filed and recorded
in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of
Maryland, and direct the clerk to transmit a copy, under
seal, to the President of the United States. It will then
remain for that high officer, in fulfilment of his constitutional
obligation, to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed,"
to determine what measures he will take to cause the civil
process of the United States to be respected and enforced.
E, B. TANEY,
Chief Justice oftJie Supreme Court
of the United States.
On the 12th of July, 1861, 1 sent a message to the First
and Second Branches of the City Council referring to the
events of the 19th of April and those which followed. The
first paragraph and the concluding paragraphs of this docu-
ment are here inserted :
" THE MA YOB'S MESSAGE.
" To THE HONORABLE THE MEMBEES OP THE
FIRST AND SECOND BRANCHES OF THE CITY COUNCIL.
"Gentlemen: A great object of the reform movement was
to separate municipal affairs entirely from national politics,
and in accordance with this principle I have heretofore, in all
my communications to the city council, carefully refrained
from any allusion to national affairs. I shall not now depart
from this rule further than is rendered absolutely necessary
by the unprecedented condition of things at present existing
in this city
" After the board of police had been superseded, and its
members arrested by the order of General Banks, I proposed,
in order to relieve the serious complication which had arisen,
to proceed, as the only member left free to act, to exercise the
power of the board as far as an individual member could do
so. Marshal Kane, while he objected to the propriety of this
course, was prepared to place his resignation in my hands
whenever I should request it, and the majority of the board
interposed no "objection to my pursuing such course as I
158 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
might deem it right and proper to adopt in view of the
existing circumstances, and upon my own responsibility, until
the board should be enabled to resume the exercise of its
" If this arrangement could have been effected, it would
have continued in the exercise of their duties the police force
which is lawfully enrolled, and which has won the confidence
and applause of all good citizens by its fidelity and im-
partiality at all times and under all circumstances. But the
arrangement was not satisfactory to the Federal authorities.
" As the men of the police force, through no fault of theirs,
are now prevented from discharging their duty, their pay
constitutes a legal claim on the city from which, in my
opinion, it cannot be relieved.
" The force which has been enrolled is in direct violation
of the law of the State, and no money can be appropriated by
the city for its support without incurring the heavy penalties
provided by the Act of Assembly.
" Officers in the Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph Depart-
ment who are appointed by the mayor and city council, and
not by the board of police, have been discharged and others
have been substituted in their place.
" I mention these facts with profound sorrow, and with no
purpose whatever of increasing the difficulties unfortunately
existing in this city, but because it is your right to be
acquainted with the true condition of affairs, and because I
cannot help entertaining the hope ihat redress will yet be
afforded by the authorities of the United States upon a proper
representation made by you. I am entirely satisfied that the
suspicion entertained of any meditated hostility on the part
of the city authorities against the General Government is
wholly unfounded, and with the best means of knowledge
The Mayor's Message. 159
express the confident belief and conviction that there is
no organization of any kind among the people for such a
purpose. I have no doubt that the officers of the United
States have acted on information which they deemed reliable,
obtained from, our own citizens, some of whom may be
deluded by their fears, while others are actuated by baser
motives; but suspicions thus derived can, in my judgment,
form no sufficient justification for what I deem to be grave
and alarming violations of the rights of individual citizens
of the city of Baltimore and of the State of Maryland.
" Very respectfully,
" GEO. WM. BBOWK, Mayor."
As a part of the history of the times, it may not be inap-
propriate to reproduce an account, taken from the Baltimore
American of December 5, I860, of the reception of the
Putnam Phalanx of Hartford, Connecticut, in the city of Bal-
timore. At this time it still seemed to most men of mod-
erate views that the impending troubles might be averted
through concessions and compromise. In the tone of the two
speeches, both of which were, of course, meant to be friendly
and conciliatory, there is a difference to be noted which was,
I think, characteristic of the attitude of the two sections ; in
the one speech some prominence is given to the Constitution
and constitutional rights ; in the other, loyalty to the Union
is the theme enforced :
"The Putnam Phalanx of Hartford, Connecticut, under
the command of Major Horace Goodwin, yesterday afternoon
reached here, at four o'clock, by the Philadelphia train,
en route for a visit to the tomb of Washington. A detach-
ment of the Eagle Artillery gave them a national salute.
"The Battalion Baltimore City Guards, consisting of four
companies, under the command of Major Joseph P. Warner,
were drawn up on Broadway, and after passing in salute, the
column moved by way of Broadway and Baltimore and Cal-
vert streets to the old Universalist church-building.
"As soon as the military entered the edifice and were
seated, the galleries were thrown open to the public, and in a
few minutes they were crowded to overflowing.
"Captain Parks introduced Major Goodwin to Mayor
Brown, who was in turn introduced to the commissioned
Eeception of the Putnam Phalanx, I860. 161
officers of the Phalanx. Major Goodwin then turned to his
command and said : ' Gentlemen of the Phalanx, I have the
honor of introducing you to the Mayor of the city of Balti-
more. 7 Mayor Brown arose, and after bowing to the Bat-
talion, addressed them as follows :
"MAYOR BBOWN'S SPEECH.
"'Mr. Commander and Gentlemen: In the name and on
behalf of the people of Baltimore, I extend to the Putnam
Phalanx a sincere and hearty welcome to the hospitalities of
our city. The citizens of Baltimore are always glad to
receive visits from the citizen-soldiers of sister States, because
they come as friends, and more than friends as the defend-
ers of a common country.
" c These sister States, as we love to call them, live some-
what far apart, and gradually become more and more sepa-
rated by distance, just as sisters will be as the children
marry and one by one leave the parent homestead.
*" But, gentlemen, far or near, on the Connecticut or Po-
tomac, on the Gulf of Mexico or the great lakes, on the
Atlantic or Pacific, they are sisters still, united by blood and
affection, and the holy tie should never be severed. (Applause.)
" f Let me carry the figure a step further, and add what I
know will meet with a response from the Putnam Phalanx,
with whose history and high character I am somewhat ac-
quainted that a sisterhood of States, like separate families of
sisters living in the same neighborhood, can never dwell
together in peace unless each is permitted to manage her
own domestic affairs in her own way (applause) ; not only
without active interference from the rest, but even without
much fault-finding or advice, however well intended it
162 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
"' Maryland has sometimes been called the Heart State,
because she lies very close to the great heart of the Union;
and she might also be called the Heart State because her
heart beats with true and warm love for the Union. (Loud
applause.) Nor, as I trust, does Connecticut fall short of
her in this respect. And when the questions now before the
country come to be fairly understood, and the people look
into them with their own eyes, and take matters into their
own hands, I believe that we shall see a sight of which poli-
ticians, North and South, little dream. (Applause.) "We
shall see whether there is a love for the Union or not.
"'But there are great national questions agitating the
land which must now be finally settled. One is, Will the
States of the North keep on their statute-books laws which
violate a right of the States of the South, guaranteed to
them by the Constitution of the United States ? No indi-
viduals, no families, no States, can live in peace together when
any right of a part is persistently and deliberately violated
by the rest. Another question is, What shall be done with
the national territory? Shall it belong exclusively to the
North or the South, or shall it be shared by both, as it was
gained by the blood and treasure of both ? Are there not"
wisdom and patriotism enough in the land to settle these
te c Gentlemen, your presence here to-day proves that you
are animated by a higher and larger sentiment than that of
State pride the. sentiment of American nationality. The
most sacred spot in America is the tomb of Washington, and
to that shrine you are about to make a pilgrimage. You
come from a State celebrated above all others for the most
extensive diffusion of the great blessing of education ; which
has a colonial and Eevolutionary history abounding in honor-
Reception of the Putnam Phalanx, 1860, 163
able memorials ; which, has heretofore done her full share in
founding the institutions .of this country the land of Wash-
ington and which can now do as much as any other in
preserving that land one and undivided, as it was left hy
the Father of his Country. I will not permit myself to
doubt that your State and our State, that Connecticut and
Maryland, will both be on the same side, as they have often
been in times past, and that they will both respect and obey
and uphold the sacred Constitution of the country/ (Shouts
" As soon as the Mayor concluded, Major Goodwin arose ;
but it was some time before he could be heard, such was the
tremendous applause with which he was greeted. The Major
is nearly ninety years of age, and is one of the most venerable-
looking men in the country. Dressed in the old Revolutionary
uniform, a facsimile of that worn by General Putnam, and
with his locks silvered with age, we may say that his appear-
ance electrified the multitude, and shout after shout shook
the very building. Major Goodwin expressed himself as
" c Mr. Mayor and gentlemen of the Baltimore City Guards,
permit me to introduce to you our Judge Advocate, Captain
" Captain Stuart arose and spoke as follows :
" SPEECH or CAPTAIN STTTABT.
tt t Your Honor, Mayor Brown : For your kind words of
welcome, and for your patriotic sentiments in favor of the
Union, the Putnam Phalanx returns you its most cordial
thanks. I can assure yon, sir, that when you spoke in such
eloquent terms of the value and importance of a united
country, you but echoed the sentiments of the whole of our
164 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861.
organization ; and let me say, it is with great pleasure, upon
a journey, as we are, to the tomb of the illustrious Wash-
ington, that we pause for a while within a city so famed for
its intelligence, its industry, its general opulence and its
courtesy, as is this your own beautiful Baltimore.
" ' We opine, nay, we know from what you have yourself,
in such fitting terms, just expressed, that you heartily appre-
ciate the purpose which lies at the foundation of our organi-
zation, that purpose being the lofty one of commemorating,
by our military attire and discipline, the imposing foundation-
period of the American Republic, of attracting our own
patriotic feeling, and that of all who may honor us with their
observation, to the exalted virtues of those heroic men who
laid the foundations of our present national prosperity and
glory men of whom your city and State furnished, as it
pleasantly happens, a large and most honorable share.
" f We come, sir, from that portion of the United States in
which the momentous struggle for American freedom took its
rise, and where the blood of its earliest martyrs was shed ;
from the region where odious writs of assistance, infamous
Courts of Admiralty, intolerable taxation, immolated charters
of government and prohibited commerce were once fast
paving the way for the slavery of our institutions ; from the
region of a happy and God-fearing people from the region,
sir, of Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill and Croton
Heights, of ravaged New London and fired Fairficld and
Norwalk and devastated Danbury and sacked New Haven.
And we come, Mr. Mayor, to a city and State, we are
proudly aware, which to all these trials and perils of as-
saulted New England, and to the trials and perils of our
whole common country, during "the times that tried men's
souls," gave ever the meed of its heartfelt sympathy, and the
Reception of the Putnam Phalanx, 1860. 165
unstinted tribute of its patriotic blood and treasure ; which,
with a full and clear comprehension of all the great prin-
ciples of American freedom, and a devotion to those principles
that was ever ardent and exalted, signalized themselves by
their wisdom in council and their prowess on the field.
" ' When the devoted metropolis of New England began to
feel the awful scourge of the Writ Bill, Maryland it was that
then contributed most liberal supplies for its suffering people,
and with these supplies those cheering, ever-to-be-remembered,
talismanic words : "The Supreme Director of all events will
terminate this severe trial of your patriotism in the happy
confirmation of American freedom."
" ( When this same metropolis soon after became the seat
of war, Maryland it was that at once sent to the camp around
Boston her own companies of "dauntless riflemen," under her
brave Michael Cresap and the gallant Price, to mingle in the
defense of New England firesides and New England homes.
She saw and felt, and bravely uttered at the time, the fact
that in the then existing state of public affairs there was no
alternative left for her, or for the country at large, but "base
submission or manly resistance "; and, Mr: Mayor, at the
memorable battle of Long Island she made this manly resist-
ance, for there she poured out the life-blood of no less than
two hundred and fifty-nine of her gallant sons, who fought in
her own Smallwood's immortal regiment; and elsewhere, from
the St. Lawrence to the banks of the Savannah, through
Pennsylvania, Virginia and both the Carolinas devoted the
best blood within her borders, and the flower of her soldiery,
to the battlefields of the Union.
"'Sir, we of this Phalanx recall these and other Revolu-
tionary memories belonging to your city and State with pride
and satisfaction. They unite Connecticut and Maryland in
166 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861.
strong and pleasant bonds. And we are highly gratified to
be here in the midst of them, and to receive at your hands so
grateful a welcome as that which you have extended.
" 'Be assured, Mr. Mayor, that in the sentiments of devo-
tion to our common country which you so eloquently express,
this Phalanx sympathizes heart and soul. You may plant
the flag of the Union anywhere and we shall warm to it.
And now, renewedly thanking you for the present manifesta-
tion of courtesy, we shall leave to enjoy the hospitality which
awaits us in pleasant quarters at our hotel/
" Captain Stuart was frequently interrupted by applause."
On the 19th of April, 1880, a portion of the members of
the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment again visited Baltimore,
and an account of its reception, taken from the Baltimore Sun
and the Baltimore Amwican, seems to be a fitting close to
this paper :
" Thirty-nine members of the Association of Survivors of
the Sixth Massachusetts Union Regiment came to Baltimore
yesterday afternoon, to celebrate the nineteenth anniversary
of their march through Baltimore, April 19, 1861, which
gave rise to the riot of that day. The visitors were met, on
landing from the cars at President-street Depot, by Wilson,
Dushane and Harry Howard Posts, Grand Army of the Re-
public, in full uniform, with band and drum corps. The line
was up Broadway to Baltimore street, to Barnum's Hotel.
A file of policemen, with Marshals Gray and Frey, kept the
street open for the parade. The streets were crowded with
people. The Massachusetts men wore citizen's dress and
Wilson Post No. 1, of the Grand Army of the Republic,
received the visitors in their hall, Rialto Building, at two
o'clock. Commander Dukehart, of Wilson Post, welcomed
the guests in a brief speech, and then introduced Comrade
Crow ley, of the old Sixth, who said :
" ' Nineteen years ago I was but a boy. A few days before
the 19th of April, 'the militia of Middlesex County were
summoned for the defense of the National Capital. We left
workshops, desk and family, to come to the defense of the
capital. We thought we were coming to a picnic ; that the
168 Baltimore and the Wth of April, 1861.
people of South Carolina were a little off their balance, and
would be all right on sober second thought. A few miles
out from Baltimore the Quartermaster gave us each ten
rounds of ammunition. We had been singing songs. The
Colonel told us he expected trouble in Baltimore, and im-
pressed on each man not to fire until he was compelled to.
The singing ceased, and we then thought we had serious
business before us, and that others besides South Carolina
had lost their balance. When we reached the Baltimore
Depot some of the cars had gone ahead, and four companies
young men were in the cars unconscious of what was going
on outside. We thought the people of Baltimore and Mary-
land were of the same Government, and if not they ought to
be. (Cheers and applause.) That they had the same
interest in the Government, the best ever devised; that
Maryland at least was loyal. A man knocked on the car-
door and told us they were tearing up the track. Our
Captain said, " Men, file out 1" The order was given and we
marched out. The Captain said, " March as close as you pos-
sibly can. Fire on no man unless compelled." We marched
through railroad iron, bricks and other missiles. We proved
ourselves brave soldiers proved that we could wait, at least,
for the word of command. We were pelted in Baltimore
nineteen years ago. We lost some of our comrades, and
others were disabled for life. But we went to Washington.
We don't claim to be the saviors of the capital ; we take no
great credit for what we did ; but we did the best we could,
and the result is shown. The success 6f our march through
Baltimore to-day is as indelibly fixed and will ever be as
fresh as that of nineteen years ago, and our reception will
remain in our hearts and minds as long as life lasts. My
father had six sons, and five were at the front at the same
Reception of the Massachusetts Sixth, 1880. 169
time. I had learned to think that if Maryland, South Caro-
lina or Virginia was to declare independence the Government
would be broken up, and that we would have no country, no
home, no flag. We were not fighting for Massachusetts, for
Maryland or for Virginia, but for our country the United
States (cheers and applause) remembering the declaration of
the great statesman, " Liberty and Union, now and forever,
one and inseparable." This country went through four years
of carnage and blood. Few families, North or South, but
have mourning at their firesides ; but it was not in vain, for
it has established the fact that we are one people, and are an
all-powerful people. (Prolonged cheers.) Our reception
to-day has convinced us that the war has ended, and that
there are Union men in Maryland as in Massachusetts;
that we are brothers, and will be so to the end of time ;
that this is one great country; and that the people are
marching on in amity and power, second to none on the fece^
of the globe/ (Cheers.)
" In the evening there was a banquet at the Eutaw House,,
and Judge Geo. William Brown, who was Mayor of Balti-
more in 1861, presided. Nearly two hundred persons were-
at table. After the dinner was over, Judge Brown said :
" ' This is the 19th of April, a day memorable in the annals
of this city, and in the annals of the country. It is filled IEU
my mind with the most painful recollections of my life, and,
I doubt not that many who are here present share with me
those feelings. I shall make but brief allusions to the-
events of that day. The city authorities of Baltimore of
that time have mostly passed away, and I believe I am the
only one here present to-night. Li justice to the living and
the dead I have to say that the authorities of Baltimore
faithfully endeavored to do their duty. It is not neces-
sary for me, perhaps, to say so in this presence. (Applause.)
170 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861.
It was not their fault that the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment
met a bloody reception in the streets of Baltimore. The
visit of that regiment on both occasions has a great and im-
portant significance. What did it mean in 1861 ? It meant
civil war; that the irrepressible conflict which Mr. Seward
predicted had broken out at last, and that, as Mr. Lincoln
said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. A great
question then presented itself to the country. When war
virtually began in Baltimore, by bloodshed on both sides, it
meant that the question must be settled by force whether or
not the house should stand. It took four years of war,
waged with indomitable perseverance, to decide it, because
the combatants on both sides were sustained by deep and
honest convictions. It is not surprising, looking back coolly
and calmly on the feelings of that day, that they found venl
as they did. I am not here to excuse or to apologize, but to
acknowledge facts. That was the significance of the first visit
of the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment, in response to the call
of the President of the United States. After the war there
was peace. But enforced peace is not sufficient in a family
of States any more than in a household. There must be
among brothers respect, confidence, mutual help and forbear-
ance, and, above everything, j ustice and right. After nineteen
years the visit of survivors of the Sixth Massachusetts
is, I hope, significant of more than peace. It is, I hope,
significant of the fact that there is a true bond of union
between the North and the South (applause), and that we
are a family of States, all equal, all friends ; and if it be,
there is no one in the country who can more fervently thank
God than myself that the old house still stands/ (Ap-
"Judge Brown offered' as a toast : ' The Sixth Regiment of
Massachusetts : Baltimore extends to her fraternal greeting/ ;;
Acton, regiment mustered in, 43.
Allen, E. J,, dispatches addressed
American, TJie, on the Baltimore
riot of 1861, 65 ; account of the
Putnam Phalanx in Baltimore, 160
-167 ; on the reception of the Sixth
Massachusetts Regiment in Balti-
Andrew, GOT. J. A M correspondence
with Mayor Brown, 54, 55.
Arkansas, secession of, 33.
Baltimore, unjust prejudice against,
13, 19 ; supposed conspiracy in, 14,
15, 120 ; slaveholders in, 80 ; Sixth
Massachusetts Regiment in, 42-
53, 167-170 ; excitement on 20th
April, 60, 61, 64; defense of, 63;
apprehension of bloodshed in, 75 ;
armed neutrality, 77; Gen. But-
ler's entrance into, 84 ; Gen. Dix's
headquarters in, 100, 101; Mayor's
message to City Council, 157-159 ;
reception of Putnam Phalanx in,
Banks, Gen. N". P. , in command, 97 ;
arrests police commissioners of Bal-
timore, 98, 99; Secretary Cam-
eron's letter to, 102 ; General Mo-
CleUan's letter to, 103.
Bartol, Judge, imprisonment of, 94.
Belger, Major, comes to Baltimore,
Bell, Presidential vote for, 25.
Black, Judge, on martial law, 93.
Blackstone on the right of imprison-
ment, 147, 149.
Bond's, Judge, errand to Lincoln,
Boston, slave-traffic in, 20 ; regiment
mustered in, 43.
Brand, Rev. William F., efforts for
Breckinridge, Presidential vote for,
Brown, Geo. Wm., meets the Massa-
chusetts Sixth in Baltimore, 48,
49 ; Captain Dike on, 54 ; corre-
spondence with Gov. Andrew, 54,
55 ; speech to the excited public,
56; writes to President Lincoln
about passage of troops through
Baltimore, 57, 61, 63; interview
with President Lincoln, 71-75 ;
General Butler's letter to, 83, 84 ;
petitions Congress to restore peace
to city, 99 ; arrest of, 102, 103,
108 ; correspondence with General
Dix, 104-108; parole offered to,
110, 111; anti-slavery principles
of, 118 ; opposed to secession, 115 ;
on the tendencies of the age, 117,
118 ; message to City Council, 157-
159; speech to the Putnam Pha-
lanx, 160-163 ; speech to the sur-
vivors of the Sixth Massachusetts
Regiment, 169, 170.
Brown, John, reverence for in the
Brune, Frederick W., efforts for
Brune, John C. , message to President
Lincoln, 57, 61 ; accompanies
Mayor to Washington, 71 ; elected
to General Assembly, 79.
Bush River Bridge partially burned
to prevent ingress of troops, 58, 59,
Butler, Gen., and the Eighth Massa-
chusetts Regiment, 76; at the
Relay House, 88 ; rumor of an
attack on his camp, 83, 84 ; enters
Baltimore, 84; arrests Ross Wi-
Byrne, Wm., denounces the North,
Cadwallader, General, and the writ of
habeas corpus, 88, 140.
Cameron, Simon, advice to Governor
Hicks to restrain Maryland, 40;
on the obstruction of Northern
Central bridge, 73 ; letter to Gen.
Carmichael, Judge, assaulted and im-
Carr, W. C. N., speaks at States
Rights meeting, 38, 89.
Cheston, G., efforts for emancipation,
Christison, Wenlock, a Quaker, owns
Clark, John, advances money for de-
fense of city, 61.
Crawford, William, Kane's letter to,
Crowley, Comrade, of the Massachu-
setts Sixth, speech in Baltimore,
Curtis, Benj. R., Life of, quotation
about Judge Taney, 91.
Cutter, B. L., release from arrest,
Davis, Jefferson, elected President
of the Confederacy, 32.
Davis, John W., police commissioner
of Baltimore, 35, 49 ; errand to
Fort McHenry, 66, 67, 68.
Davis, Judge, doubts the rumors of
conspiracy, 132, 133.
Davis, Robert W., killed, 52.
De Tocqueville, on public opinion in
Dike, Capt. J. H., company attacked
in Baltimore, 46 ; testifies as to
the conduct of Baltimore civil
authority during the riot, 53, 64.
Dimick, Col. J., releases prisoners
from Fort Warren, 108; kind
treatment of prisoners, 111.
Dix, General, headquarters in Balti-
more, 101 ; correspondence with
Mayor Brown, 104-108.
Dix, Miss, relates a Confederate plot,
Dobbin, Geo. W., errand to Lincoln,
57, 61 ; accompanies the Mayor to
Douglas, S. A., Senatorial campaign,
22 ; Presidential vote for, 25.
Dred Scott Case, 138.
Evans, H. D., his code for Liberia, 81.
Felton, C. C., on the "Baltimore
Felton, Samuel M., on the supposed
conspiracy, 13-18, 129-133; ad-
vises Massachusetts Sixth to load
their guns, 43 ; engages spies, 120.
Ferrandini, Captain, suspected of
conspiracy to assassinate President
Follansbee, Capt., company attacked
in Baltimore, 46, 49.
Fort McHenry, apprehended attack
on, 66, 69.
Fort Sumter, bombardment of, 32.
Franciscus, in the car with Lincoln,
Garrett's, John W., dispatch to
Mayor Brown concerning advance
of troops to Cockeysville, 73, 74,
Gatchell, Wm. H., police commis-
sioner of Baltimore, 35; release
from arrest, 109.
Giles, Judge, issues writ of habeas
corpus to Major Morris, 87.
Gill, George M., meets the Massachu-
setts Sixth, 48 ; counsel for John
Goodwin, Major Horace, commands
Putnam Phalanx, 160 ; hfe appear-
Greeley, Horace, on the conduct of
the Baltimore authorities, 76, 77.
Groton, regiment mustered in, 42.
Gunpowder River Bridge partially
Habeas corpus case, 87, 139-156.
Hall, Thomas W., release from
Hallam's Constitutional History, ex-
tract from, 151.
Halleck, Gen., in Baltimore, 101.
Harris, J. Morrison, errand to the
Harrison, Wm. G., elected to Gen-
eral Assembly, 80 ; released from
Hart, Capt., company attacked in
Herndon, Wm. H., comments on
Lincoln's senatorial campaign
speech, 23; reports of plot fur-
nished to, 122.
Hicks, T. H., Governor of Maryland,
34 ; proclamation of, 40 ; speech
before excited public, 56 ; writes
to Lincoln not to pass troops
through Baltimore, 57, 61 ; sug-
gests mediation between North
and South by Lord Lyons, 76;
convenes General Assembly, 79;
letter to E. H. Webster, 128.
Hilliard, suspected of conspiracy,
Hinks, Chas. D., police commis-
sioner of Baltimore, 35 ; released
from arrest, 99.
Hopkins, Johns, advances money for
city defense, 61.
Howard, Charles, police commis-
sioner of Baltimore, 35; appre-
hends attack on Fort McHenry,
66, 67 ; report on the state of city,
80, 81 : release from arrest, 108.
Howard, F. K., release from arrest,
Huger, General, made Colonel of
53d Regiment, 66.
Hull, Rob't, release from arrest, 109.
Hyde, Sir Nicholas, on the writ of
habeas corpus, 150.
Jefferson, Thomas, and writ of habeas
Johnson, Capt. B. T., arrives in
Baltimore, 64; hasty dispatch
from Marshal Kane, 69, 70.
Jones, Col. Edmund F., passage
through Baltimore, 43; on the
Massachusetts Sixth in Baltimore,
46, 47, 48, 51 ; letter to Marshal
Judd, N. B., with Lincoln in Phila-
delphia, 16 ; hears of conspiracy in
Kane, Marshal George P., investi-
gates supposed plot, 15 ; head of
Baltimore police, 35 ; letter to
Crawford, 40; keeps order at
Oamden Station, 48 ; attempts to
quell Baltimore mob, 51, 53 ; Col.
Jones's gratitude to, 54; hasty
dispatch to Johnson, 69, 70 ; after
the war elected Sheriff and subse-
quently Mayor, 70 ; arrest of, 97 ;
release from arrest, 109.
Keim, Gen., arrests John Merryman,
Kenly, John It., supersedes Marshal
Kennedy, Anthony, errand to
the Capital, 63.
Kennedy, John P., on the attitude
of Border States, 31, 32.
Kentucky, temporary neutrality of,*
Keys, John S., letter from Mayor
Brown to, 110, 111.
Kinney, Mr., receives Lincoln in
Lamon, Colon el W. H., on Lincoln's
midnight ride, 19, 120-137; on
Lincoln -Douglas campaign, 22;
ride with Lincoln, 138.
Latrobe, John H. B., President of
Maryland Colonization Society, 31.
Lawrence, Massachusetts, regiment
mustered in, 42.
Lee, Colonel, on Gen. Cadwallader's
errand to Judge Taney, 88.
Lewis, Mr., in the oar with Lincoln,
Lincoln, President, alleged conspir-
acy against, in Maryland, 11-15,
121-137 ; midnight ride to Wash-
ington, 17, 19, 120; Senatorial
campaign with Douglas, 22 ; differs
from Seward, 24 ; election to Presi-
dency, 25 ; calls out the militia, 82 ;
letter to Gov. Hicks, 62 ; Mayor
Brown writes to, concerning passage
of troops through Baltimore, 57,
61 ; Mayor Brown's interview with,
Lowell, Massachusetts, regiment
mustered in, 42.
Luckett, suspected of conspiracy,
Lyons, Lord, suggested as mediator
between North and South, 76;
Secretary Seward's boast of his
authority to, 91.
Macgill, Dr. Charles, release from
Marshall, Chief Justice, on habeas
corpus, 153, 154.
Maryland, rumors of conspiracy in,
11, 12, 13; slavery in, 20, 80;
Lincoln's call for militia, how re-
ceived in, 33 ; excitement, 40, 41.
Mason, James M., sent from Vir-
ginia to negotiate with Maryland,
Massachusetts, Minute Men, 11;
slavery in, 20 ; Eighth Regiment,
76 ; Sixth Regiment, 42, 167-170.
May, Henry, M 0., arrest of, 103*
McClellan, General, letter to General
'McComas, Sergeant, removes ob-
struction from railway track in
MoHenry, Ramsay, efforts for eman-
Merryman, John, arrest of, 87, 88,
154; charges against unfounded,
Morfit, H. M., elected to General
Morris, Major, refuses to obey writ
of habeas corpus, 87.
Negro. See, Slavery.
Newport, slave-traffic in, 20.
Nicolay, George, on Lincoln's mid-
night ride, 132.
North Carolina, secession of, 33.
0' Donnell,Columbus, advances money
for city defense, 61.
Parker, Edward P., General Butler's
Patapsco Dragoons, arrival in Balti-
Pemberton, Major, leads U. S. Artil-
lery through Baltimore, 36.
Pennsylvania troops in Baltimore,
44, 53 ; at Cockeysville, 75.
Phillips, Wendell, on States Eights,
Pickering, Captain, company opposed
in Baltimore, 46.
Pikesville, arsenal taken possession
Pitts, Charles H., elected to General
Putnam Phalanx of Hartford in Bal-
Putnam's Record of the Rebellion,
quotation from, 38.
Revolution, right of, 26-29.
Robinson, I)r. Alex. C., Chairman of
States Rights Convention, 38.
Robinson, General John C., on Bal-
timore in 1861, 66, 69, 81, 82, 83.
Sanford, plans Lincoln's midnight
Sangston, L., elected to General As-
Scharf 's History of Maryland quoted,
35, 37, 78, 103.
Scott, General, on the passage of
troops through Baltimore, 62, 72,
Scott, T. Parkin, sympathizes with
the South, 38, 39 ; elected Judge
after the war, 39 ; elected to Gen-
eral Assembly, 79 ; release from
Seward, Secretary, position before
Presidential Convention, 24; boasts
of his authority, 91 ; sends news of
supposed conspiracy to Lincoln,
Slavery, compromises of Constitution
in regard to, 20-22 ; Geo. Wm.
Brown opposed to, 113 ; some good
effects of, 114.
Small, Colonel, leads Pennsylvania,
South Carolina, secession of, 31.
Steuart, Dr. Richard S., efforts for
Story, Justice, on habeas corpus, 152,
Stuart, Captain, speech in Balti-
Sumner, Colonel, offers to accompany
President Lincoln to Washington,
Sun, The, on the offer of service by
colored people, 65. 66 ; on the suf-
fering of Pennsylvania troops in
Baltimore County, 76 ; Reception
of 6th Massachusetts Regiment in
Taney, Chief Justice, on negro rights,
21, 138; habeas corpus case ex
parte John Merryman, 87-93, 139-
Tennessee, secession of, 33.
Thomas, Dr. J. Hanson, elected to
General Assembly, 79.
Trimble, Colonel I. R., defense of
Trist, N. P., news of conspiracy com-
municated to, 14.
Turner, Capt, suspected of con-
Union Convention called, 92.
Virginia, secession of, 33; sends
Mason to negotiate with Mary-
Wallis, S. Teackle, legal adviser to
Baltimore police commission, 35;
speech to the excited public, 56 ;
accompanies the Mayor to Wash-
ington, 71 ; elected to the General
Assembly, 79 ; release from arrest,
Warfield, Henry M., elected to Gen-
eral Assembly, 79; release from
Warner, Major J. P., commands
Baltimore City Guards, 160.
Washburne, Mr., meets President
Lincoln at Washington Depot, 136.
Watson, Major, company attacked
in Baltimore, 45.
Webster, B. H., GOT. Hicks's letter
Whitefield, the Calvinist, owns
Williams, George H., counsel for
John Merryman, 87.
Winans, Ross, denounces passage of
troops through Baltimore, 37;
elected to General Assembly, 79 ;
arrested by Gen. Butler's order, 87.
Winder, Wm. H., release from
Wood, Fernando, tries to make New
York a free city, 31.
Wool, General, checks arbitrary
Worcester, regiment mustered in, 42.
Johns Hopkins University Studies
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HERBERT B. ADAMS, Editor.
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IX-X. Village Communities of Cape Ann and Salem. From the Historical CJ
lection of the Essex Institute. By H. B. ADAMS.* f
XI. The Genesis of a New England State (Connecticut). By ALKXANDJ
JOHNSTON, A. M. (Rutgers College), 1870 ; Professor of Political Econoa
and Jurisprudence at Princeton College, Price 30 cents. j
XII. Local Government and Free Schools in South Carolina. Read before \
Historical Society of South Carolina, December 15, 1882. By B. J. RAMAJ
The first annual series of monthly monographs devoted to History,
Politics, and Economics was begun in 1882-1883. Four volumes have
hus far appeared.
The separate volumes bound in cloth will be sold as follows :
VOLUME I. Local Institutions. 479 pp. $4.00.
VOLUME II, Institutions and Economics. 629 pp, $4,00.
VOLUME III. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington. 595 pp. $4.00.
VOLUME IV. Municipal Government and Land Tenure. 610 pp. $3.50.
The set of four volumes will be sold, together for $12.50 net.
VOLUME V. Municipal Government and Economics. (1887. )
This volume will be furnished in monthly parts upon receipt of subscription price,
$3 , or the bound volume mil be sent at the end of the year 1887 for $3,50.
EXTRA VOLUMES OF STUDIES.
In connection with the regular annual series of Studies, a series of Extra Volumes
is proposed. It is intended to print them in a style uniform with the regular Studies,
but to publish each volume by itself, in numbered sequence and in a cloth binding
uniform with the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Series. The volumes will vary in
size from 200 to 500 pages, with corresponding prices. Subscriptions to the Annual
Series of Studies will not necessitate subscriptions to the 'Extra Volumes, although
they will be offered to regular subscribers at reduced rates.
EXTRA VOLUME I.-The Republic of New Haven : A History of Muni-
cipal Evolution. By CHARLES H. LEVERMORE, Ph. D., Baltimore.
This volume, now ready, comprises 350 pages octavo, with various diagrams
and an index. It is sold, bound in cloth, at $2.00.
EXTRA VOLUME II.~Philadelphia, 1681-1887. A History of Muni-
cipal Development. By EDWARD P. ALLINSON, A. M. (Haver-
ford), and BOIES PENROSE, A. B. (Harvard).
The volume will comprise about 300 pages, octavo. It will be sold, bound in
doth, at 3.00; in law-sheep, at $3.50.
EXTRA VOLUME III.-Baltimore and the Nineteenth of April, 1861.
By GEORGE WILLIAM BROWN, Chief Judge of the Supreme Bench
of Baltimore, and Mayor of the City in 1861. Price f x.oa
All communications relating to subscriptions, exchanges, etc., should be addressed
to the PUBLICATION AGENCY OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, BALTIMORE,
The Republic of New Haven.
A History of Municipal Evolution.
BY CHARLES H. LEVERMORE, Ph. D.
Fellow in History, 1884-85, Johns Hopkins University.
This work is a new study, from original records, of a most remarkable
chapter of municipal development Beginning with an English germ in
the Parish of St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London, Dr. Levermore has
traced the evolution of the Rev. John Davenport's church into a veritable
commonwealth, in which the life-forces of Old England circulate anew.
The Republic of New Haven is unique and one of the most
interesting of all American commonwealths. It was a city-state, self-con-
tained, self-sufficing, like the municipal commonwealths of antiquity. It is
impossible to measure the greatness of Greek cities or of the Italian
republics by their extent of territory. It is equally impossible to estimate
the colonial and municipal life of America by any standards of material
greatness. And yet few persons realize how far-reaching in American
History is the influence of a single town like New Haven. Not to speak of
the intellectual forces which have gone forth from that local republic, from
its vigorous church-life and from Yale College, born of the Church, New
Haven, like her Mother England, is the parent of a wide-spread colonial
system, not unworthy of comparison with that of Greek cities. A glance
at the accompanying diagram will illustrate the wonderful evolution of New
-V f . \ // Jr
The following table of contents will serve to indicate the scope and
character of the topics treated in Mr, Levermore's History of New Haven :
CHAPTER I. THE GENESIS OF NEW HAVEN. Davenport and Eaton.
Formation of a State. Town-Meetings. Fundamental Agreement Davenport's
Policy. Theophilus Eaton.
CHAPTER II. THE EVOLUTION OF TOWN GOVERNMENT. Social Order.
Town Courts. The Quarters. Military Organization The Watch. The Marshal
The Town Drummer. Minor Offices. Roads. Fences. Cattle. Supervisors,
Doctor. School-Teacher. Viewers and Brewers. The Townsmen. Currency and
CHAPTER III. THE LANO QUESTION. Official Control over Alienations and
Dwellings. Divisions of the Outland. New Haven a Village Community. Evolu-
tion of Subordinate Townships. The Delaware Company.
CHAPTER^IV. THE UNION WITH CONNECTICUT. THE BIRTH OF NEWARK.
A New Party within the Colony.Terms of Admission of Strangers. Increasing
Importance of Townsmen. The Village Question. New Haven and the Restored
Stuart. Hegira to New Jersey.
CHAPTER V. THE WORK OF THE COURTS IN JUDICATURE AND LEGISLA-
TION. Drunkenness. Sabbath-breaking. Spiritual Discouragements. Quakers and
Witches. Lewdness. Methods of Civil Procedure Legislation concerning Trade
and Prices. Arbitration. Magisterial Interest in Trade. Revival of the Common
Law and English Usage,
CHAPTER VI. NEW HAVEN A CONNECTICUT TOWN, 1664-1700 Changes
in Constitution. Hopkins Grammar School. Minister's Tax. Tithingmen. Justice
of the Peace. Divisions of Land Indian Reservations* The Village Controversy.
Public Benevolence. Indian Wars. Villages again, Tyranny of Andres* Local
Enactments. Intemperance. Funeral Customs.
CHAPTER VIL NEW HAVEN A CONNECTICUT TOWN, 1700-1784. The
Quarrel with East Haven. Yale College.The Walpolean Lethargy. Sale of the
Town's Poor. First Post- Office. First Oyster Laws. Sketch of the Town's Com- \
merce. The Approach of the Revolution. New Haven during the War. Com-
mittees. Articles of Confederation. Treatment of Tories. Final Division of the :
Township. The Church the Germ of the Town.
CHAPTER VIII. THE DUAL GOVERNMENT. TOWN AND CITY. 1784-
1886. Town-Born w. Interloper. First Phases of City Politics. First Charter.
Description of the City. Municipal Improvements. Fire Department Adornment
of the Green. Public Letters to the Presidents and Others. Downfall of Federalism.
Slavery and Abolition, Municipal Growth. Sects. Administrative Changes,
Windfall" from Washington. Liquor Traffic. Light in the Streets. High School.
Era of Railways. Needs of the Poor. The City Meeting. Charter of 1857. Town
Officers. City Improvement. Police and Fire Departments. In the Civil War.
Recent Charters. Conservative Influences in the Community.
CHAPTER IX. THE PRESENT MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION. School Dis-
trict Town Government Town-Meeting. Consolidation. City Government
City Judiciary. City Executive. City Legislature. Legislative Control over the
Commissions. Conduct of Commissions. Executive Organization. Administrative
Courts. Frequent Elections. Board of Councilmen. Choice of Aldermen.
Appendix A. Mr. Pierson's Elegy.
" B. The Town of Naugatnck.
" C. Dr. Manasseh Cutler's Diary.
D A Town Court of Elections. New Haven, A. D. 1656.
The volume now ready comprises 350 pages octavo, with various dia-
grams and an index. It will be sold, neatly bound in cloth, at $2.00,
Subscribers to the STUDIES can obtain at reduced rates this new volume,'
\ History of Municipal Development
EDWARD P. ALLINSON, A. M., AND -BOIES PENROSE, A. B.,
OF THE PHILADELPHIA BAR.
While several general histories of Philadelphia have been written,
ire is no history of that city as a municipal corporation. Such a work
low offered, based upon the Acts of Assembly, the City Ordinances, the
tte Reports, and many other authorities. Numerous manuscripts in the
msylvania Historical Society, in Public Libraries, and in the Depart-
nts at Philadelphia and Harrisburg have also been consulted, and
)ortant facts found therein are now for the first time published.
The development of the government of Philadelphia affords a pecu-
y interesting study, and is full of instruction to the student of municipal
stions. The first charter granted by the original proprietor, William
n, created a dose, self-elected corporation, consisting of the "Mayor,
:order and Common Council," holding office for life. Such corpora-
s survived in England from medieval times to the passage of the Reform
of 1835. The corporation of Philadelphia possessed practically no
er of taxation, and few and extremely limited powers of any kind. As
apidly growing city required greater municipal powers, the tegidfr
instead of increasing the powers of the corporation which, being self-
elected, was held in distrust by the citizens, established from time to time
various independent boards, commissions, and trusts for the control of tax-
ation, streets, poor, etc. These boards were subsequently transformed
into the city departments as they exist to-day. The State and municipal
legislation, extending over two centuries, is extremely varied and frequently
experimental. It affords instruction illustrative of almost every form of
municipal expedient and constitution.
The development of the city government of Philadelphia has been
carefully traced through many changes in the powers and duties of the
mayor, in the election and powers of the subordinate executive officers, in
the position and relation of the various departments, in the legislative and
executive powers of councils, in the frequently shifting distribution of
executive power between the mayor and councils, and in the procedure of
councils. In 1885 an Act of Assembly was passed providing for anew
government for Philadelphia which embodies the latest ideas upon muni-
The history of the government of the city thus begins with the medi-
eval charter of most contracted character, and ends with the liberal pro-
visions of the Reform Act of 1885. It furnishes illustrations of almost every
phase of municipal development. The story cannot fail to interest all those
who believe that the question of better government for our great cities is
one of critical importance, and who are aware of the fact that this question
is already receiving widespread attention. The subject had become so
serious in 1876 that Governor Hartranft, in his message of that year, called
the attention of the Legislature to it in the following succinct and forcible
statement: " There is no political problem that at the present moment occa-
sions so much just alarm and is obtaining more anxious thought than the
government of cities"
The consideration of the subject naturally resolves itself into five sharply-
ned periods, to each of which a chapter has been devoted, as indicated
:he following summary, which, while not exhaustive, will suggest the
CHAPTER I. FIRST PERIOD, 1681-1701. Founding of the city. Functions
ic Provincial Council. Slight but certain evidence of some organized city gov-
nent prior to Penn's Charter.
CHAPTER II. SECOND PERIOD, 1701-1789. Penn's authority. Charter of
i. Attributes of the Proprietary Charter; its medieval character. Integral parts
he corporation. Arbitrary nature and limited powers. Acts of Legislature creat-
independent commissions. Miscellaneous acts and ordinances. The Revolution,
.brogation of Charter. Legislative government. Summary.
CHAPTER III. THIRD PERIOD, 1789-1854, Character of Second Charter.
ises leading to its passage. A modern municipal corporation. Supplements.
partments.-^-Goncentration of authority. Councils. Bicameral system adopted.
cers, how appointed or elected. Diminishing powers of the mayor. -Introduction
landing committees. Finance. Debt. Revenue. Review of the period.
CHAPTER IV. FOURTH PERIOD, 1854-1887. Act of consolidation. Causes
ding to its passage. Features of New Charter. Supplements. Extent of ter-
nry covered by consolidation. Character of outlying 'districts. New Constitution,
delation of city and county. Summary of changes effected. Twenty-five ptasi-
ependent departments established. Encroachment of legislative upon executive
vers. Resulting Citizens' Reform movement Committee of one hundred. Con-
:ts. Debt. Delusive methods of finance. Reform movement in councils.
uses leading to the passage of the Bullit Bill. Review of the period.
CHAPTER V. FIFTH PERiOD.-Text of the Act of 1885. History of the
ssage of the Bullit Bill. Changes by it effected in the organic law. Conclusions,
The volume will comprise about 300 pages, octavo, and will be sold,
oind in cloth, at $3; in law-sheep at $3.50; and at reduced rates to
gular subscribers to the *' Studies."
Orders and subscriptions should be addressed to THE PUBLICATION,